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Comparing BC Collaboration Tools

which bc collaboration tool should I use?

Trying to decide which BC collaboration tool to use? Here's a brief description of the BC Wiki and Google Apps and the kinds of projects they typically work well for.

BC wiki

The BC Wiki provides an easy way for teams, groups, and departments to collaborate online. Information is stored in spaces, which are comprised of interconnected web pages and attachments. Navigation is automatically handled and can be adjusted by dragging and dropping (or moving pages). Access to spaces and pages can be granted to groups, individuals, a combination thereof, or all BC users. Wikis can be public or private so that only group members can view and access them. The administrator of a wiki also controls the permission levels of their group members to determine who is allowed to read or edit specific pages.

Google Apps

Google Apps is a set of web-based applications that provide an integrated collaboration tool set. Google Drive provides unlimited storage accessible via any browser and can automatically be synced to a local folder on Mac and Windows computers. It also provides sub-applications for Google Docs (equivalent to MS Word), Sheets (equivalent to MS Excel), Slides (equivalent to MS PowerPoint), Draw (for easy creation of diagrams, art, and logo's), and Forms (for simple surveys and data collection) - all in the browser and featuring simultaneous editing and group collaboration. There is a mobile device app as well. Google Hangouts provides real-time video and chat for up to 12 people, also via any web browser. Google Sites provides an easy way to create and share web pages. The Apps suite is rounded out by Gmail and Calendar.

 

Comparing Google Apps and the BC Wiki

Important: Before using any technology tool to send, store, or share institutional information, review the Regulated University Data Chart.

I need to...
Google Apps
BC Wiki
Notes
Collaborate with colleagues outside BC
Yes
No
Only BC faculty, staff, and students can access the BC Wiki
Easily & automatically create navigation, table of contents, site map, etc.
No
Yes
 
Use Campus Groups and Course Groups for sharing/restricting access
Yes
Yes
 
Do live collaboration on documents
Yes
No
Cannot have multiple people editing a page in the BC Wiki at the same time.
Document versioning, history, and revert to previous version
Yes
Yes
 
Easily compare document versions
Yes
Yes
The BC Wiki does this better
Capture comments separate from content
Yes
Yes
The BC Wiki does this better
Create a knowledge base or information repository
No
Yes
Google does not have good tools for organizing and navigating content. Content often gets 'orphaned.'
Create content that is not owned by an individual
No
Yes
Content in Google is owned by an individual. When the individual leaves BC and their account is removed, so is their content. Content in the Wiki is created and authored, but not owned by individuals and persists after the user leaves BC.
Leverage templates for common formats (e.g. meeting summaries, grant proposals)
Yes
(second best)
Yes
  • The BC Wiki has a very easy to use page template feature that includes variables that can be filled in when a new-from-template page is created. Even tags can be added to the template.
  • Google Docs/Sheets/Slides/etc. can be submitted to a public, global template gallery. Or, any current doc can be copied and the copy edited. It's a weak option, but available.
Collaborate on a complex spreadsheet or table
Yes
No
With Google Sheets, collaboration includes multiple, simultaneous, real-time editors
Collaborate on a slideshow
Yes
No
 
Share documents with no space restrictions
Yes
No
 
Incorporate "social" features (e.g. follows, likes, notifications, etc.)
No
Yes
 
Use Visio-like drawing tools
Yes
(second best)
Yes
  • Gliffy is a web-based graphical tool for drawings, diagrams, etc. and can do most of what Visio can do.
  • Google Drawings are not as sophisticated, but will meet the needs of many.
Use Video/Chat
Yes
No
 
Edit Microsoft Office documents in the browser
Yes
Yes (second best)
  • Use Chrome with Google Apps to edit and save Office docs. You must convert to Google format to allow others to collaboratively edit.
  • In the BC Wiki, there is limited capability in limited browsers.
Use an extensive set of tools for formatting, embedding multi-media content, publishing live metrics, etc
No
Yes
 
Collaborate on a document that serves as a navigable web page or site
Yes
(second best)
Yes
  • BC Wiki spaces are easy to set-up, edit, and navigate
  • Google Sites have some of the same features, but not as well done or as easy to use
Collaborate on a document that serves as a polished, formatted professional publication
Yes
Yes (second best)
With Google Docs, collaboration includes multiple, simultaneous, real-time editors
Share large files
Yes
No
 
Embed widgets, video, and other web content
Yes
Yes
Embed external content in both the BC Wiki and Google Sites
Access on-campus only data sources
No
Yes
 
Create dynamically generated content
No
Yes
Easily add other pages, lists of pages, and content to BC Wiki pages.