Working with Others

The Office of Literacy and Essential Skills has defined 9 skills needed for work, learning and everyday living. Working with others is named as one of the skills required that provides the foundation for learning all other skills.

Working with others examines the extent to which individuals work with others to carry out their tasks. In the educational context, you may ask:

  • Do you need to work cooperatively with other students?
  • Do you have to have the self-discipline to meet project or assignment targets while working alone?

Four types of work contexts can be applied to the learning environment:

  1. Work alone: Students work alone to complete assignments and projects.
  2. Work independently: Students are not physically alone but work independently, coordinating their work with that of others. For example, a group project where each member has a task to accomplish
  3. Work jointly with a partner or helper: For example, when a student co-ordinates and co-operates with only one other student at a time.
  4. Work as a member of a team: A team is a group of students who complete a project or accomplish a task through combined effort and organized co-operation.

Technology can be used as a tool that supports working with others. In the following section, you will find various high and low technology that can be used to support the four work contexts described above.

High technology to support working with others

Electronic Calendar

An electronic calendar allows the student to use it for more than just keeping track of appointments, classes, tests, exam schedule and due dates. It also allows you to:

  • Create to do lists
  • Prioritize and organize tasks
  • Track progress of specific tasks

Mind mapping software

Mind mapping software, also known as concept mapping, is used to create relationships from concepts, ideas and information. Mind mapping software can help you with working with others by:

  • Brainstorming before you begin a project
  • Create a timeline for projects
  • Organizing tasks

Online Project Management Tools

Project management software allows members of a group or team to plan and keep track of projects, whether working independently or collaboratively with others. This software is available as a desktop version or web-based and will allow you to:

  • Organize tasks into task and subtasks with responsible parties and due dates
  • Allows you to share and collaborate on documents with other members
  • Provides email alerts to all team members regarding project tasks

Smartphones Calendaring System

Smartphones allow you to synchronize the calendar on your mobile device with your desktop or online calendaring system.

Document Collaboration Sites

Document collaboration sites allow you to share documents online with anyone and work on them together in real time. These documents whether in Word, Excel or PowerPoint can be easily created and accessed online from any computer.

Web conferencing

A web conferencing program can allow you to meet virtually with your group/team members. Depending on the program used, you can:

  • Share your computer screen with another person
  • ‘Take control’ of the screen
  • Allow large number of to participate in the online meeting
  • Allow members to talk and see each other


A Wiki is a website that can be edited by anyone. Wiki’s can be used as hub to collect information for group and/or collaborative work.

Low technology to support working with others

Barriers to Working With Others

Low Technology Solution

Unable to prioritize tasks

  • Paper Calendars
  • Check lists, To-do lists
  • Agenda
  • Post-its, index cards/card holders for reminders
  • Visual schedules
  • Voice recorders


Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) is a Canadian organization focused on improving the literacy and essential skills of adult Canadians. OLES provide expertise, project funding, and a wide range of learning tools and other resources.

Tech Matrix – provides information and resources on assistive technology and software used by students and teachers      

Wiki Matrix – a website that will help you choose the right Wiki for your needs.