Collaborative Projects, Remotely

Whether a student or a professor, you might be considering how to create and evaluate final projects in a remote setting. Transitioning from lectures and seminars to distilling information into posters, infographics, podcasts and video essays brings a new set of challenges when working together and presenting at a distance. Here are some tools and ideas that may help you move forward with existing assignments.

Infographics, Video Essays, Digital Stories
Adobe Spark is a simple online platform that can be used to create graphics, short videos, and photo essays. Canva, an alternative focused on still images, may be best for infographics. Like Adobe Spark, the application is entirely online. Remember, students also have access to more robust design tools like Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Premiere via Swarthmore’s Adobe subscription. Working documents and final exports can be shared via Google Drive. Additional resources for video essays are available here.

Podcasts & Music
Audio projects can be edited using Adobe Audition, Apple’s GarageBand, or Audacity (free and open source). Recording audio from Zoom sessions and sharing edited files via Google drive will enable collaboration from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Research Posters
InDesign, PowerPoint and Google Slides are typically the programs of choice for poster design. Regardless of which program you use, exporting a PDF of sufficient resolution will optimize viewing when it comes time to share and evaluate work.

While there are differences between designing for screens and for print, it’s best to apply standard print dimensions (48×35 inches) to electronic posters. You may want your audience to see the details in a high-resolution photo, or zoom in on a data visualization without sacrificing image clarity. Without the ability to enlarge the poster to its full size, those details could be lost on small monitors. You can learn more about setting up electronic posters here.

You can always present a poster online by sharing your screen and magnifying select regions of the document as you speak (most PDF viewers have a zoom/scale option). If you’d like to take things a step further, consider uploading your finished PDF to Prezi and adding pre-defined “zoom areas” for a smooth presentation. This option may not be universally accessible, so it’s important that you share a copy of the original document with your audience.

Reach out to if you need help with any of the media projects described above. We can arrange online workshops at request.