At Horizon we frequently make use of Google tools to collaborate on projects. We find them so useful that we ask everyone who takes Designing for Online Learning to sign up for a Google account if they don’t already have one. Here are some of the Google tools we have found most useful for collaborative activities in online courses.
Google Docs (docs.google.com)
Google docs can be easily shared with anyone and allow for multiple people to edit the same document in real time. For example, you could ask students to ideate (generate ideas for) a topic and they could all contribute (either synchronously or asynchronously) to a Google doc.
Google Drive (drive.google.com)
If you ask students to collaborate on a research project, they could list articles they find in a shared Google doc, but they could also upload files to a shared Google drive folder.
Google Forms (forms.google.com)
If you want to survey students about particular issue, Google forms are an easy way to do this. Student responses can be collected in a Google sheet.
Google Sheets (sheets.google.com)
Google sheets are a great way to collaborate when you have a schedule or a lot of quantitative data to share. (Sheets is the equivalent of Excel.)
Google Slides (slides.google.com)
If you want students to create a presentation about a topic, you could ask them to make a Google slides presentation. Students could collaborate on a presentation of a group project. (Slides is the equivalent of PowerPoint.)
You might also want to check out the post about Google Hangouts for more ideas about collaborative assignments.