Norms of Online Global Collaboration

It is no surprise that Global Collaboration is becoming vital in education and is being encouraged by almost every part of the educational spectrum. That being said, there are
Rules, guidelines or norms to keep in mind when collaborating with others from around especially with the use of technology. These norms should be understood in order to provide the best global collaboration for your classroom.
Today I would like to discuss two norms of global collaboration, they include:

  1. Be Prepared
  2. Have a Purpose

These two norms are a great place to start, for educators who wish to enrich their classrooms through global collaboration. It may seem intimidating at first but gaining an understanding of what is expected will make it much easier to conduct a collaborative lesson and reach different parts of the globe.

For starters, Being prepared, the 1st Norm

Being prepared to collaborate is very important in order to be successful and to stay stress-free throughout the experience, some Objectives should be kept in mind, including:

Have a plan for connecting

As an educator, you should have a laid out plan for connecting with your desired educator, institution, or anywhere else your teaching may take you. Some Actions to consider and do:

  • Consult with PLN and PLC to find like-minded partners for global collaboration.
  • Determine What common tools you will use to connect and collaborate.
  • Test all the tools beforehand.
  • Work out time zones differences and what is possible.

Taking the time to plan out your activity will provide the best results and prevent any potential errors that could corrupt the lesson or prevent learning. Furthermore, to provide even better results try following these Guided Questions, so to lead you in the right direction.

  • Is it Clear who this global project is for?
  • Is it clear how participants will join?
  • Is it clear how participants will connect?
  • What common tools will be used?
  • What time zone will participants be working in?

2. Determine how you will communicate


  • Work out how teachers will communicate during the collaboration
  • Decide what communication activities will be taking place
  • Work out student communication protocols
  • Determine the expectations for communication

Guided Questions:

  • Is it clear how teachers will communicate during the project?
  • Are there any synchronous communication activities pre-planned?
  • Are there any asynchronous communication activities pre-planned?
  • What are the communication protocols during the project?
  • What are the communication expectations during the project?

It is important to have an understanding of our the collaboration will take place, what tools are being used, who is being contacted and how everything will be played out. This will allow everything to run smoothly with little to no issues.


On to the 2nd Norm

The most important part about norm 2 is realizing the purpose of global collaboration. As an instructor, you need to be able to acknowledge what is trying to be achieved and what learning experiences you are trying to foster. Some Typical Purposes and Guided Questions include:


  • Cultural Exchange
  • Inquiry and exploration into a topic or topics
  • Global Project, short or long, curriculum-based
  • Shared outcomes, students summit
  • Artifact exchange and/or co-creation

Guided Questions:

  • Is the purpose of the project clear?
  • Is the length of the collaboration clear? Is it a set length or flexible?
  • What are the shared inputs from participants?
  • What are the share outcomes?
  • Will there be an artifact exchange? Will there be co-creation of outcomes?

Finding and understanding the purpose of the collaboration, and making it clear to your students, will allow the most knowledge to flourish. Not only this but the purpose and reasoning behind the collaboration will determine the amount of planning needed, how the activities will run, and what technology will be needed to express the purpose further.


All in all, global collaboration is an important sector of the classroom and should be utilized whenever possible and when it will promote the most success in learning. There are much more things to know about collaborating online, these are just two things to think about when preparing to collaborate.

Check out this video by Julie Lindsay, discussing the remaining norms,

Buy her book here!!!


Go Collaborate!!!