Online Tools to Support Collaborations

Watch the screencast of a webinar for FaCE grant recipients putting together their project websites.
Your contact person at SERC is John McDaris (

There are a variety of online tools available for leaders of FaCE-funded collaborations. This page presents a suggested path through using these tools effectively.
  1. Get familiar with the tools that might potentially be used to support your collaboration. Skim through this guide which outlines the available tools and how to use them effectively. Start to brainstorm about how you might take advantage of the tools throughout your collaboration.
  2. Watch the 1-hour webinar (MP4 Video 86.9MB May26 11) that SERC and ACM conducted in May 2011 for grant recipients starting to get their project websites rolling. The webinar showcased three projects that have established their websites and have used them as part of their collaborative or research projects as well as presenting why the website effort is important to ACM.
  3. Contact SERC to get an initial website set up. You'll need to provide the email addresses of the leaders and other folks who will need access to add information to the website (e.g. administrative assistants involved in the program). Confirm the name of the collaboration. Explore the available set of template pages (especially relevant for websites that will support workshops or other face-to-face events) and let SERC know which of these pages you'll like in your website to start with. SERC staff will set up the empty web space, pre-populate it with any template pages you've selected and set up access to the space for the folks who's email addresses you've provided.
  4. Dive in and start adding information to your website. Using the documentation about the online editing system you should be able to start to fill in some of the initial information. You might want to move quickly in getting at least a front page for your workshop live to the public so that you have a url you can advertise.
  5. Consider what information you want to collect from your participants and how to collect it. If you have an event you'll likely want to take advantage of providing an online registration and/or application form. You may want to ask participants to submit information about work they've already done (e.g. activities they've used with their students, details of courses they've taught) or resources they want to share with their colleagues (e.g. useful websites, books or articles). The guide provides pointers to a large number of example forms which have been used in past project to collect these sorts of information.
    Explore these, find ones that matches (or are nearest) your needs and then let SERC staff know what forms you'd like. Often it's simplest to copy an existing form into Word, mark up the changes you'd like and email those to SERC. Depending on what you need SERC staff can set up these forms and/or suggest other ways to leverage existing forms and tools to garner contributions from your participants.
  6. Evolve your website as the collaboration progresses. Take advantage of the collaborative editing possibilities both within the development website as a tool to coordinate the work of the leaders. Make new/evolving information live on the public site as it arrives so that participants are always up-to-speed. Since all the leaders have direct editing access to the site from any web browser you can work independently and spontaneously as needed. If you run into problems, have questions or want to know if "there's a better way to do x" feel free to contact SERC staff. They have expertise in the mechanics of using the tools and can provide an additional perspective on using the tools effectively.
  7. Use the website as a place where participants can share information with each other and the world. Collections of participant contributed activities, workspaces where small groups record ongoing notes, and pages where presentations and key documents are posted are all ways in which the website can grow beyond being a token page to a rich resource that reflects and reinforces the work of the collaboration.

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