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Cooperative teaching?

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I like to pre­pare a new his­to­ry course for my stu­dents,  but it can be very time consuming.

If there is a text­book on the sub­ject, you can start from there and add some online mate­r­i­al, but unless you have time for hours of surf­ing, you might not stum­ble upon the BEST online mate­r­i­al for your students.

If you would like to teach “present his­to­ry”, like the cur­rent cri­sis in Ukraine, you have to build your own col­lec­tion of resources.

I fol­low blogs via Twit­ter, and it is great, but teach­ers tend to work one-by-one and then share their stuff for oth­ers to tweak to their own use. There’s noth­ing wrong with that, but would it be pos­si­ble to actu­al­ly “pitch” an online work­space with a few peers and co-cre­ate a course on Ukraine-Rus­sia? You would prob­a­bly tweak this course to you own needs any­way, but the point is, in my expe­ri­ence, you get bet­ter ideas, when you work with others.

So where can you hang out, what are the best, open online work­spaces for teach­ers to curate, share and co-cre­ate  mate­ri­als inside/outside your faculty?

How do you “ping” the right peo­ple to your workspace?


Here’s the tools I can think of:


1) Google Docs / Google+

Very sim­ple : Paste links and thoughts into a shared doc­u­ment, for instance on the Ukraine-Rus­sia con­flict (in Dan­ish) . No sign-in required. Google+ requires a google account.

Any cons?

Have you ever pre­pared a course with peers out­side your fac­ul­ty? If so, how?


2) List.ly list

Listly is a tool for curat­ing lists. Could this tool be used for curat­ing aca­d­e­m­ic resources?  Here’s a very short example.

Pros: Teach­ers can vote items up and down.

This looks bet­ter than a google doc, but you have to sign up on list.ly. (Maybe it should­n’t mat­ter how a work­space looks — but it does.)

Cred­it: Cap­ture Queen on Flickr — (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/uaeincredible/231011361/

3) Bud­dy­press group

Bud­dy­press is a social plu­g­in for Word­Press. Mem­bers of your site can cre­ate  new groups with file­shar­ing and a forum. Exam­ple here.


4) Face­book groups

Face­book has become the most well-known and used plat­form for teach­ers — at least in my coun­try. I par­tic­i­pate in a few groups, and  it is very ad hoc  ‘Q and A’  : You post a ques­tion and get more or less response in a com­ment thread, and then on to the next ques­tion. Peo­ple share files, but they don’t cowrite new stuff.

Pros: User base. Lots of teach­ers have a face­book account.

Cons: You might get dis­tract­ed by com­mer­cials and, well friends…


5) Linked In his­to­ry­teacher’s group

Recent­ly I dis­cov­ered that Linked In also have groups, could this be it? I joined a his­to­ry­teach­ers group of +9000 mem­bers — but again: You can start a “dis­cus­sion” , very sim­i­lar to a face­book thread.


Have you ever pre­pared a course with peers out­side your fac­ul­ty? If so, how?

Which online plat­forms have I missed?

Please share your thoughts 🙂






Ét svar til “Cooperative teaching?

  1. Morten Caspersen Avatar

    Just read an excel­lent blog by Harold Jarche on the dif­fer­ence between col­lab­o­ra­tive and coop­er­a­tive work. http://jarche.com/2015/08/cooperation-for-the-network-era/ He defines the terms like this: “col­lab­o­ra­tion hap­pens around some kind of plan or struc­ture, while coop­er­a­tion pre­sumes the free­dom of indi­vid­u­als to join and participate.”
    We tend to extol the coop­er­a­tive as mod­ern, cut­ting-edge and per­haps even polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect, but the col­lab­o­ra­tive has — as Jarche points out — its strengths. Per­haps we some­times get stuck in the mud when it comes to net­work cre­at­ed cours­es because we rely on the coop­er­a­tive approach. I think a cen­tral ques­tion for the future will be how we can stay cre­ative as we col­lab­o­rate on cre­at­ing cours­es. Per­haps the trick is to gen­er­ate ideas and col­lect con­tent coop­er­a­tive­ly and then turn ideas and con­tent into cours­es in a col­lab­o­ra­tive work mode?

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