Collaborative editing of google drive files constitutes a new and useful method of organising, structuring and acquiring academic content in a dynamic and interactive way. This ensures an up-to-date way of note taking, allowing students to become active participants in the teaching-learning process by providing them with the digital medium in which they can collaborate with their colleagues and teacher. It also allows them to critically evaluate the content of the course under focus. Students can signal to the instructor not only the most relevant aspects to them, but also the problematic and challenging ones. Moreover, the final result is a collaborative notebook which is an efficient tool for learning and formative assessment for a lesson, unit or entire course/seminar.
Students are motivated by hands-on, attractive and challenging activities. Students are more motivated when they can choose the material that they have to study and when they are involved in tasks which are relevant to them and to their future profession. As such, this study focuses on the collaborative notebook edited by the first-year students majoring in English at the Faculty of Letters. The notebook was edited in ten days at the beginning of the second semester of the academic year 2020. Given the academic context caused by Covid-19, the collaborative notebook was a trigger for the online activity performed the entire semester. The students received the active role of selecting relevant content related to the second unit of the seminar in English Morphology: The Noun. Students were asked to edit together a google drive file and they performed this activity for ten days under the guidance of the language instructor who provided constant feedback and addressed the issues selected by the students.
Besides being a powerful tool which allows students to collaborate with their peers, the notebook also performed the function of a needs analysis at the micro-level of a seminar’s unit, identifying the weak points and the strong points, but also highlighting the students’ interest. Moreover, the collaborative work resulted in obtaining a notebook containing the essential aspects related to the topic the Noun: a useful learning tool, but also exam material.
In this study, we are going to analyse important aspects of this collaborative notebook and its utility value for the teaching-learning process in general and the English Morphology seminar in particular. Finally, we are also going to present the students’ perception and attitude in relation to this activity.