Collaboration in the Internet Era

OK, so it is fair to say that some people work better together, Ben & Jerry, the Wright brothers and Jobs & Wozniak are famous examples of collaborations that have gone on to change the face of the ice cream, aviation, and technology industries respectively.

The same is true of collaboration at academic institutions. By working successfully with your fellow classmates on projects and assignments you not only strengthen your understanding of a particular subject, but you also gain key workplace skills such as teamwork, time management and delegation.

University, for example, can be a competitive environment with all students seeking to gain the highest possible marks on their exam papers and essays. However, it’s all the more sense to work in union with your fellow students to increase your chances of top results.

Working together

It is not just students who are involved in collaboration; whole institutions are now recognising the value that working with other universities can bring. This allows students from both sides to take advantage of the expertise and resources that the respective institutions have to offer.

Collaborating on projects or studying online together is easier than ever thanks to the advancement of technology in recent years. You can now literally work on the same report or revise to get ready for exams with someone who is on the other side of the world. Tools like social media, email, Skype, live chat and online study platforms all contribute to make this a reality.

How collaboration can help you

Collaborating with other students will help you see problems and solutions from all points of view. It will also allow you to add a fellow student’s skill or expertise in a certain area to your own to create a better project or assignment. After all we can’t all be good at everything, and it is not a sign of weakness to recognise the areas that you are not strongest in.

If it is exam time what you are concerned about, online collaboration while you are revising for exams can play a key role to achieve the best possible marks. Collaborating with others to create flashcards to revise, share your mindmaps, etc… can be what makes the difference on the exam day.

And Finally…

By collaborating with others people can create more than the sum of their parts. This is a video of Randy Neslon from Pixar explaining how creative collaboration works in the 3D computer graphics industry.

As you can see, we really are stronger when we work together and combine our resources. This sort of creative partnership can begin at primary, secondary school or university but the sky really is the limit in terms of where it can take you.


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