Showing posts with label Meeting Words. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meeting Words. Show all posts

Monday, August 31, 2015

My Two Ground Rules for Collaboratively Taking Notes

Earlier today I pushed a post about using MeetingWords as a collaborative note-taking tool. In that post I mentioned the need for setting some rules for students to follow during a collaborative note-taking session. Through trial and error over the years I've developed a few ground rules that help collaborative note-taking be a better experience for all involved. These are the two ground rules that I use with students.

1. Yes, it is possible to write over or correct a classmate's note, but don't do it without consulting him or her first. Use the chat feature (present in Google Docs and MeetingWords) to suggest a change to the person whose note you wish to change.

Making students ask each other before changing a note does two things. First, it prevents students from getting frustrated by having a classmate delete work without asking. Second, it facilitates conversation about what is or isn't an important note to record.

2. Use your real name. I want to know who has added what to the document. Your classmates want to know who they can talk to regarding a note.

Contributing to a notes document is different than participating in a backchannel chat in which I might just be looking for anonymous questions from students or anonymous responses to my prompts. In a collaboratively created document I want to see names so I know who is contributing, who is not, who needs help, and who is with me.

Try Meeting Words for Collaboratively Taking Notes

MeetingWords is a free and registration-free service for creating an online notepad and chat room. Through MeetingWords you can quickly create an online place to collaboratively create documents with one or more partners. You can chat in real-time while creating a document on MeetingWords. Every person contributing to the documents you build is assigned a highlight color so that you can easily track who wrote what in the document. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use MeetingWords along some commentary on how it might be used in a classroom.


If you don't have access to Google Documents or another collaborative document creation tool, MeetingWords provides a quick and easy way for students to take notes together. As I noted in the video, there isn't an option to moderate comments in MeetingWords so you will need to spend some time setting up rules and expectations for your students to follow when using MeetingWords.