Communication Tools: What's What...
... and when to use it!
As well as being the most commonly used online communication channel, email is now the official method at Cardiff for communicating with students.
At Cardiff we use the CardiffMail system. More than a standard email system, CardiffMail is integrated with a new set of collaborative tools which provide instant communication and offers a sophisticated calendaring tool to help you manage your schedule. More about CardiffMail | Log in to CardiffMail
Instant Messaging (IM)
Instant Messaging (IM) enables you to exchange messages with another person in real-time. Messages are sent and received immediately.
It's a very informal communication channel - it doesn't replace email but offers a quick and flexible way to contact people without clogging up their inbox or disturbing them with a phone call.
Use IM for quick requests and questions, checking availability for a telephone call or face-to-face meeting at that time, sharing links or a quick chat.
At Cardiff we use SameTime, currently available through the new CardiffMail system for users of the Notes client. It provides instant messaging combined with presence awareness indicating your online status. More about SameTime
Share ideas, opinions and links using Blogs – and get quick feedback.
A blog, or weblog, is a website, usually maintained by an individual or small team with regular entries including commentary, descriptions of events, with links to other sites. It's a place where readers can comment directly on the entries posted.
With the web evolving into an increasingly social environment, blogs are especially useful to academia as a means of sharing ideas both with open and closed groups whilst at the same time eliciting feedback quickly and efficiently.
They're essentially for personal publishing and so are not well-suited for collaboration. They could be used for consultation, discussion and idea generation.
Author content collaboratively with wikis.
A wiki is an online journal but unlike a blog is designed specifically for collaborative authoring.
While a blog tends to focus on a set of entries written in chronological order like a journal, a wiki is a powerful collaborative drafting tool. It can enable people to work on projects as vast as an online encyclopaedia or on something smaller such as a to do list for a project.
With a more open approach to authorship, the content of a wiki can change constantly as it benefits directly from the insight and specialist knowledge of a large group of potential authors.
The content of a wiki changes constantly and so is not a good place to store content or master documents.