By: Kristen Hicks
While primarily designed with business in mind, the Basecamp project management software can help faculty and students better organize their work in higher education as well. Knowing the product has come in handy for educators before and understanding that it might be harder to justify the cost at a school than at a business, the company decided earlier this year to make the product free to professors.
While many of the features offered by Basecamp can be accomplished with other free applications, Basecamp brings them into one place to make organizing and executing anything collaborative or complicated a bit easier.
Here are three ways Basecamp can be brought into higher education.
1) To help coordinate collaborative student projects.
Collaborative projects teach students important skills around working together and coordinating responsibilities. In the business world, people take advantage of whatever tools are at their disposal to simplify this process and ensure greater success. There’s no reason for students not to do the same.
Basecamp can make it easier for students in a group to decide and keep up with who’s responsible for which tasks, and when they need to be completed by. They can keep a project calendar with important deadlines, milestones and meetings to clear up any potential confusion. Learning tricks and tools for more efficient project management during school will serve most students throughout the rest of their life.
2) To help grad students stay on top of research projects.
Long-term research projects play an important role in the graduate school experience. Many students are figuring out concepts like long-term time management as they go. If you have one big deadline looming months in the future, how do you make sure you pace your work correctly in the meantime?
Basecamp can help students and their faculty advisors plan out and keep up with milestones and goals throughout the project. Having a more organized plan in advance helps students avoid rushed work as the deadline approaches, which can make a huge difference to the quality of a research project.
3) To simplify course creation, especially in cases where multiple people are involved.
Online courses or any other course that involves multiple people in the creation process can benefit from a centralized coordination process. Basecamp can make it easier for faculty to keep track of version control for any content developed for a course, and plan out the schedule both for the course creation and the course itself.
Basecamp keeps an ongoing record of the messages, files and other elements that go into the evolution of a course. This can simplify the process of making changes to future version of the course or creating similar courses in future semesters.
There are lots of ways to create working systems for collaboration, but being able to start with a product that puts most of the system in place for you saves time and effort. Basecamp can ease some of the confusion that comes in working with other people, and help students and faculty both more easily stay on top of their work.
Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an insatiable interest in learning and experiencing new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring innovations and nontraditional approaches to education for edCetera