5) Facilitating Active Collaboration


Welcome to the Oceans Research in Canada Alliance community platform for facilitating collaboration and communication. This series of short training videos are intended to provide users with a brief introduction to the various applications of the community platform, and to demonstrate some common functions. Open your web browser and navigate to the ORCA SharePoint platform to follow along.

This is Training Session 5: Facilitating Active Collaboration

If you are actively collaborating with your colleagues on documents, plans, strategies, etc, you can use the ORCA platform to facilitate your work.

Shared Documents and Workspaces

In the navigation bar on the left, you can find the link for “Documents”. This is the shared document library for ORCA. All community members can access, download or edit these documents.

Click on the link. You can see all of the documents that have been uploaded. The library is searchable, and you can also sort and filter it. Let’s sort the documents by date. Click on the heading link “Date”. It automatically sorts the list to ascending by date. Now, let’s filter the list to only see the final versions of documents. Mouse over the heading “Final Version?” and click on the little triangle. Check the box for “Yes”. The list of documents now only shows those that are the final versions. You can use these techniques to quickly zero in on your documents.

To open documents, click on the name of document in the list. Click the back button in your browser to return to the library.

The ORCA Secretariat can also create a working group for you and your colleagues, and a separate space where you can house your documents while you work on them. You can see that we have done this for the Program Committee for ORCA 2018, for example. This section of the library shows only the materials relating to ORCA 2018. Click “Documents” on the left to go back to the library.

Each document has associated information that gives you additional details. This information is referred to as the “document properties”, and it helps us file all of the documents. The key properties are displayed in the various columns you can see. You can see who authored the document, as well as the last time it was modified, and by whom. This helps you to track who is working on your document.

Instead of emailing attachments to your colleagues for comments, and trying to keep track of versioning, this platform can handle all of it in one central location.

Documents can be uploaded easily by choosing “new document” at the top, or by clicking and dragging files into the library. By right clicking on a document, you can choose “copy shortcut”, and paste the link into an email. That way, your colleagues will be directed to the most current version of the document. Documents can also be edited or commented on directly in the platform. You can also save the version history of your document, should you need to refer back to it. We won’t go into detail on those functions in this session. You can find out about how to upload, edit and save documents in the Best Practices Guidelines, and also in training session #7.

This concludes the portion of the ORCA Community Platform training on facilitating active collaboration. The 6th mini-training session is about how to use the platform to consult the ocean science and technology community at large.