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5 Strategies for Effective Online Collaborative Planning with Multidisciplinary Teams

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Online collaboration may be necessary for planning and evaluating instruction, school practices, and teamwork through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), grade-level teams, and other groups of educators who meet on a regular basis.

Here are 5 strategies to help you to be effective, efficient, productive, and have fun!

Speech Bubble; text reads "tips for teachers; 5 Strategies for Effective Online Collaborative Planning for Multidisciplinary Teams"

1) Create an agenda before your meeting and share it with the team

This will keep you on track, on time, and on target.

  1. Begin with CELEBRATIONS (personal, professional)

  2. Set a realistic time frame for completing discussions

  3. Start with priority items

  4. Stay on task

  5. Clarify follow up items (who will do what and when)

  6. Plan the agenda for the next meeting

  7. Process the meeting: what worked and what can we improve?

2) Establish roles and rotate among team members

Establishing roles and rotating responsibilities helps set clear expectations for the meeting and ensure the weight doesn’t fall to only one or two people. Here are some examples of roles for online meetings.

  1. Facilitator: Who ensures the meeting starts/ends on time and keeps the conversation flowing?

  2. Recorder: Who will take notes or record the meeting on the meeting software?

  3. Timekeeper: Who will make sure we keep to the designated time for each agenda item?

  4. Technology Support: Who will help when someone’s sound or video doesn’t work?

3) Streamline your process

The more you streamline the meeting process the more likely they will be productive. Try these suggestions for practicing a good meeting flow.

  1. Send out the agenda before the meeting

  2. Check technology before the meeting starts

  3. Set norms for how you will meet

  4. Check for team consensus before making decisions

  5. Encourage members who are not participating to contribute

  6. Stay positive and solution-oriented

  7. Make your next agenda at the end of the meeting

  8. Send out meeting notes with the link for the next meeting ASAP

4) Make use of MCIE’s collaboration tools

  1. MCIE’s Collaborative Teams Guide will provide your team with an overview of best practices for team operations

  2. This Collaborative Teams Checklist can be used to identify your team’s strengths and areas for improvement

  3. Once your team is established, you can use these meeting note templates to record your discussion and decisions

  4. As your team goes forward, it is a good idea to use a Collaborative Meeting Checklist once or twice a year to see if you’ve still got all of the important pieces in place

5) Try some alternatives to video conferencing

There are free versions for these tools for team use in addition to Zoom, Google or Teams platform.

  1. Use Padlet for sharing files online, keeping meeting notes, lesson plans, and other documents

  2. Use Planbook for lessons, schedules, and sharing with your team

  3. Trello can help you to manage projects and assignments

  4. You can use Edmodo with your class as well as with your collaborating team members

  5. Use Flock for instant communication and collaboration

Download a PDF version of this post here.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

This post was originally written by MCIE Staff.


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