There are many disciplines where collaborative learning is the norm; group projects in engineering, working in pairs in bio & chem laboratories, writing papers in a variety of fields, and Team-Based Learning in medical schools (among other areas). Are there any software tools available that are specifically intended to augment collaborative learning? In my head, this would include capabilities such as:
- Asking questions of the group
- Enabling real-time group discussion
- Sharing attachments
Are there any software tools available that are specifically intended to augment collaborative learning?
This strongly depends on the setting (i.e., the aim of the learning experience) and consequently expectations the teacher and the students have.
For collaborative knowledge-base management and/or note-taking, e.g., Wikis are an effective tool. There exist a plethora of various flavours of wiki's for various purposes, depending on the exact requirements you might have.
If you are after e.g., collaborative writing, then tools similar to Google Docs might be of some use.
In the case you would be after something more complex, such as collaborative exercise sheets, that would be trickier of course.
It also might be useful to start from Wikipedia's entry on Computer-supported collaborative learning