Educators are advocating a variety of 21st century technologies to increase student engagement and prepare them for the modern workplace. As part of this effort this paper describes the development of several introductory laboratory activities which enhance online collaborative skills in the context of group collaborations. The experiments mostly deal with measurement and error in the context of mathematical modeling. They inculcate online collaborative skills including group writing, collection of experimental data, student feedback, and assessment using forms, spreadsheets with data pooling, real-time graphing/computations, and discussions using chat. These are all available in Google Drive, a free cloudbased application. We have also introduced student collaborative-pair computational spreadsheet assignments, and results of two projects in general chemistry are presented. Building formative assessment into these activities allows for immediate adjustment to instruction. This approach could be used from middle school through the undergraduate level. It can be implemented both in informal education or formal classroom settings by enhancing interactions with remote partners. Student evaluations have been very positive for the variety of activities, as well as from workshop feedback from high school teachers.
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