How to create an online collaborative space in Google Workspace for Education


This article explains:



Google provides several apps that can be used together to create an Online Collaborative Space for your team. Using this guide, you will be able to create a single location for your team to work together, store their files, chat, and meet online.

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Creating an Online Collaborative Space for Google Workspace

  1. Log into your Google Workspace Account using your Virginia Tech User Account
  2. Go to
  3. Click Create Group

  4. On the "Enter group info" screen, do the following
    1. Enter the name and description (optional) of the Group

    2. Click the Next button

  5. On the "Choose privacy settings" screen:
    1. Select the group's visibility in the Who can search for group drop-down box,

    2. Select the access permission of the group in the Who can join group drop down box as well as the Who can view conversations, Who can post, and Who can view members slider fields
    3. For Basic Permissions, change the settings as follows
      • If the new Group is private (members-only), then limit the View and Post settings to "Group members" and Join the Group setting to "Only Invited Users"
      • If the new Group is public to Virginia Tech users (anyone in the organization can join), then leave the default settings

    4. Click the Next button

  6. On the "Add members" screen, add the users whom you wish to have access to the group. You may select group members, group managers, and add other group owners aside from yourself

  7. Click Create group

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File Sharing

Create a shared drive as a location to share files


  1. Go to
  2. Select Shared drives from the left menu

  3. Right Click and Select "New shared drive…"

  4. Enter a name for your shared drive

  5. Click Create

  6. Add the Google Group you created above as a member to share the drive. This will allow everyone in the Group to access the drive. Note: If you just created the Google Group and you do not see it in the directory when you try to add it, enter the name of the group and append ‘’ to add it

    1.  Click Manage Members in the top right of your shared drive

    2. Type in the name or email of your Group and click Send

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Team Chat

Use Google Chat to create a chat channel for your team.

  1. Go to
  2. Select the "+" symbol next to the Chat dropdown

  3. Select Create space from the menu that appears
  4. Enter the name of your room

  5. In the field labeled Enter name or email of person or group add the users or group you created in the section above

  6. Select Create

  7. If your group was not added in previous steps, Select “Add people

  8. Type the name of your Google Group

  9. Select Send

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Meet Online

Use Google Meet to start an online meeting

  1. Go to
  2. Click New meeting and follow the onscreen instruction to start the meeting

    Once the meeting has started, you can copy the join link and post the information to Google Chat


Your new Google Workspace Online Collaborative Space is now ready to go!


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Collaboration Resources and Strategies

How can I collaborate with my team using Google Workspace?

The short videos below from Google provide a good general overview.

Working in Shared drives

Explore how to manage files and avoid collaboration overwrites or conflicts in Google Workspace Apps

Time: 0m 34s

Collaboration using Google Workspace

Explore how to collaborate with a team using Google Workspace

Time: 3m 21s

Cloud-Based Collaboration

Explore cloud-based collaboration

Time: 1m 40s

Hangouts Meet Introduction

Using Google Workspace to schedule and conduct online meetings

Time: 0m 38s

Collaboration Strategies using Google Workspace 

In the section, we will explore some collaboration strategies with these apps. 

  1. Documents can be shared outside the Group by extending permissions at the document level.  All members of your team have access to all documents within the shared drive according to their permissions and roles.  However, sometimes you need to share a document with an external collaborator.  For Google documents (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc.), you can use the Share feature to invite external collaborators.  When you do that, the collaborator will receive an email with a link to the document inside your shared drive.  Comments and changes from the collaborator will appear inside the document for your review and approval.  If you do not like their changes, you can always return to a prior version.  In addition, you can limit edits to “Suggested Edits” such that all edits have to be reviewed and approved before being applied. 
  2. Managing agendas for meetings. If a meeting is scheduled, then you can attach a meeting agenda that is stored in your shared drive by clicking the Attach icon in the meeting description. The agenda can have permissions set to allow members to add or suggest agenda items, or just have it be for information purposes only. 
  3. Email action items by attaching comments. Action items are often forgotten once a meeting is over. A good strategy to preserve, reinforce, and remind is to assign tasks in a document to the person. This can be done by inserting a comment and starting it with a ‘+’team member email (for example, This will send an email notification to the person. The person can go to the document and comment on the item and mark it resolved. 
  4. Managing membership. Because Google Workspace apps are independent of each other, you can add Members to the shared drive that won’t be added to the Group. However, adding members to the Group does add the member to the shared drive, as long as the Group has been added as a member. Therefore, the best strategy is to manage membership from within the Group and add the Group as a member to the shared drive. 

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