Use suggestion mode

One thing we did not have to deal with before Google was the etiquette of collaborating on a document at the same time. This is a new experience for all of us, especially our students. The first time you introduce students to a collaborative document expect some “toes” to be stepped on. There is a learning curve for knowing how to be in the same document at the same time.

Editing Text

It is rude to change someone’s text. When collaborating together it is polite to suggest changes through chat or comments rather than directly editing the work of someone else. This is something we need to teach our students. To respect the work that someone else did by commenting, not changing their work.

Suggestion Mode

Google Docs allows students to directly edit the work of other students, but allows the author to approve or disapprove the changes.

Look in the toolbar for the editing pencil to show that you are in editing mode.
Editing mode in google docs

Click on the arrow next to the pencil to view document options.
Document viewing options

Choosing the suggestion mode option allows you to suggest edits but allow the author to approve the edits.
Suggested edits

Encourage students to use suggesting mode in Google Docs when doing peer evaluation or collaborative work. A great way for them to be polite online.