Using Dropbox for Communication

In the Supplemental Instruction and Structured Learning Assistance programs at Cleveland State University, student workers must share up-to-date attendance information with both professors and the SI and SLA program coordinator. In previous semesters, this involved sending excel spreadsheets multiple times per week and submitting hard-copy attendance logs.

Alma opted to harness the newer technology of cloud storage (Dropbox) coupled with an excel template. The template would show attendance and produce other metrics such as average session size, and attendance percentage by student, which is necessary for the SLA program. The emails were reduced to one at the beginning of the semester containing the link to download the attendance spreadsheet, which was kept and maintained by the SI or SLA leader. The program coordinator and course instructor could download the file at any time and have the most up to date information.

Alma provided the staff of SI and SLA leaders with in-services and training materials to show them how the Dropbox sharing and excel template would function, and make their lives involve fewer emails.

The in-service, titled “Dropbox: Personally, Professionally” detailed possible uses of cloud services for personal, academic and work use. In 2009, flash drives were everywhere, and they were literally left everywhere as well. The advantages of cloud version control, sharing and collaborating are clear in a world where you work from multiple devices (this has gotten even more true with the advent of mobile devices).

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