Today I, unfortunately, had to leave the webinar a little early because I had my own course to teach. The course is called creative concept development and it was appropriate that today’s theme was Global Collaboration.

Today’s lecture.

So I had prepared a lecture where we started together in a common zoom room (23 students) where I gave a brief introduction of distributed collaborative work for about 30 min. Then we went over to Mural (a digital workspace for visual collaboration) which is reminiscent of a shared whiteboard.

I think that Mural is one of the best tools that I have used for distributed design, both the apps and the web-based tool works very well even in large groups. First I quickly went through how Mural works and they had to interact and use the tool, placing sticky notes, add text, draw sketches and images. We also started to search the internet for technical solutions for today’s theme – how to make indoor plants feel better!

Then we split the class into six smaller teams where each team worked on their own challenge. After half an hour we all met and worked together to present the results and to evaluate the lecture.

The final Mural from today’s lecture


It went fairly well, for many students it was really a crash course because they have not used either Zoom or Mural before. It is quite stressing to be a teacher in a distributed lecture, it is so much easier to communicate when all your students are in the same room.


I think that the interaction in Mural works very well. I really like the possibility to share a Mural with other users without creating users (in many other tools I need to prepare and create users or invite everyone to participate, and that takes to much time). Here I just add a new mural and copy the anonymous link and then everyone that has that link can participate. I often use the I like I wish reflection, so everyone writes something they liked, and something they wish. You can see the feedback below!

I like…, I Wish… evaluation from the lecture

Many of the students liked to test the tools and thought it was nice to be able to do it from home. Several students had problems with technology – bad audio, low bandwidth (Mural is really dependent on low latency and good bandwidth) and crashing tools.

Lack of communication

One of the things that were quite tricky to communicate was the Challenges for each team, I showed them during the lecture (shared screen and presentation) but few students wrote them down and they missed that It was also available in the chat window in Zoom (because they minimized zoom when working with Mural).

Zoom and break-out rooms

Also, it takes quite a long time for me to go into each breakout room and check that everything is ok. Also, some of the students’ zoom sessions crashed, and when they logged into the meeting they were not added to the right breakout room so I had to monitor the status of the room.


So did they come up with nice solutions, yes when they only had about 30 min to present themself, do a short brainstorming and then selecting ideas and combine them – I think it was quite successful.
Here is one of my favourites, the dinosaur pot!

The dino that raises his tail if the soil contains the right nutrients, and smiles if the soil has the right moisture. 

Global collaboration in early phases