Etherpad / Stud.IPad in education

Stud.IPad is based on the Open-Source-software EtherPad. This enables collaborative editing of texts (collaborative real-time editor). With the Stud.IPad, several persons can edit a text document simultaneously whereby all changes are immediately visible to all participants. All changes from the different editors are colour coded.

The Stud.IPad documents are linked to the Stud.IP course and only the logged in course participants have the right to edit them.

Why deploy the Stud.IPad?

Stud.IPad is a simple tool which makes collaboration inviting due to its simple usability and which facilitates simple, rapid and uncomplicated collaborative text editing. Students can work together on one document, communicate with each other, pursue their own and the other’s train of thought and augment and complete texts.

How do I deploy the Stud.IPad?

The Stud.IPad is suitable for activities where the preparation and editing of various texts plays an important role.

Pads can be set up specifically for topics, groups or persons. Topic-specific pads can/should be edited by the whole group together. Pre-defined groups work in the group-specific Pads. Only those persons for whom the Stud.IPad was set up work on the Pads intended for individual people. There is one Pad per group participant in this case. An integrated Chat service is available for communication during editing of the contents.

For example, the Stud.IPad is suitable for...

  • brainstorming, topic selection, group building
  • joint editing of texts (such as translations of foreign-language texts, Old and Middle High German texts, scientific texts etc.)
  • noting links which pertain to a particular, predefined topic
  • collecting bibliographic materials
  • glossary preparation as a preliminary stage before updating texts in a Wiki or another program
  • drafting reports
  • collaborative analysis of case studies
  • joint interpretation of graphics
  • joint, written preparation of a group presentation

What are the stumbling blocks?

With this tool, the emphasis is on content-related, collaborative text preparation and editing. Technical text formatting, such as is normal in software like Microsoft Word or Open Office, is not provided here. After finalisation in the Stud.IPad, the text must be pasted into another software and formatted there.

Furthermore, in its current version, the tool does not include a formula editor which limits its application possibilities in the MINT fields.

The coordination of joint writing in an Etherpad should not be underestimated. It is imperative that the amount of time potentially required in the process and in organising the course is taken into consideration. Here, it is useful to specify time configurations (e.g. completion dates for various chapters).

How do I use the Stud.IPad? / Where can I get help?

A video tutorial will help you with the initial steps with the Stud.IPad, the Digital Learning and Teaching Service Team will help you if you have queries about didactical concepts.

You can see here how to activate the Stud.IPad in a Stud.IP lecture.