AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.

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Google Docs - Collaboration Tool 

Cost: Free with Gmail | Platforms: Browser based for Laptop and Desktop and in app form for Android and Apple. 

G Suite is part of your Gmail account and can be part of some Educational Organisations and Workplaces. If so, there is a tool available called ‘Google Docs’ that is similar to Word and is suitable for writing assignments. 

A feature of Google Docs is the collaborative potential within it. In other words, the Google Doc can be shared with other people so they can all, or some or one, work on the document at the same time. 

Most useful for: There may be times when people can’t meet face to face for group work so this collaboration tool in Google Docs allows people to have 24-hour access to a shared document and can contribute at a time that suits them. 

Its key features are: 

  • Sharing a Google Doc means that you can work at the same time on a single document. Now there is no need to be always face to face with all your group. 

  • Sharing the Doc means some of the group can be face to face and others online. 

  • Individuals who are in the group can type or use the ‘Voice Typing’ tool in Google Docs so they can type with their voice. More information about Voice Typing in this AT Hive webpage.

How do I share my Google Doc? 

Google docs - the Share document button

  • When you are in Google Docs, you will see a blue button in the top right-hand corner of the page called ‘Share’ (as seen above).

  • Click ‘Share’ and then a window will appear and you simple write your groups email address into the box. 

  • Make sure you assign them with the appropriate role - ‘Editor’ or ‘Viewer’ or ‘Commenter’ - displayed beside the email section. 

  • You have the option of typing a message to your team too. 

  • Then click ‘Send’ and each group member will receive an email with an invitation to open the Google Document.

Sharing a google docs document - emailing other collaborators.

Our Top Tip: 

It’s really useful to discuss with the group how to best co-author the assignment. Will everyone have responsibility for part of the document? Headings for the assignment can be a good way to assign work to specific people and ensure fairness. Also, it may help to clarify if people can edit other people’s work?  

Demonstration of Collaboration in Google Docs in Action 

Video source: GCFLearnfree.org YouTube channel 

Go to the Google Website for more information> 

Advice about collaboration tools and Assistive Technology:  

  • If you are a student in Higher Education, speak to your Assistive Technology Officer or Disability Officer /Learning Support Officer.  

  • If you are a Student in the FET/ETB then it may be possible to speak to an Educational Needs Coordinator, Learning Support Coordinator, Student Access Officer, Student Support Coordinator or a Disability Support Officer for more information about assistive technology.  

  • If you are an Employee and are interested in this technology then speak to your Disability Liaison Officer (public service) or your Line Manager to start the conversation. 

Initially it's a little complicated to get your head around but after you have had a few gos, it becomes a lot easier!

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