Guide to Collaborative Learning

A Comprehensive Guide to Collaborative Learning

This guide to Collaborative learning refers to an approach in which students work in small teams on a given topic, project, or assignment. When they work in a group, they develop theories, clear each other’s doubts, and bring in different perspectives. This leads to self-learning and skill development for each student. Creative and engaging methods like this make classes more fun and engaging. In this blog, you will know about A Comprehensive Guide to Collaborative Learning.

Key Features of Collaborative Learning

This learning technique creates a positive environment in the classroom. The first step to this method is the assignment of purposeful tasks to different teams. Students can buy essays online cheap to get their regular assignments completed and take time to research for their group project.

Key features of this learning strategy include

  • understanding of the purpose of the activity;
  • awareness of individual learning goals;
  • responsibility and accountability for tasks;
  • delegation of skills and strengths;
  • exchange of ideas and perspectives among members;
  • comprehension of more than one ways of task accomplishment;
  • fostering friendship and work relationships.

Benefits of Collaborative Learning

1. Improves Critical Thinking

This learning technique encourages critical thinking. While completing the task, students exchange feedback and opinions that help them bring uniqueness to the table.

2. Establishes Team-Management & Leadership Skills

Students learn to manage a team, which eventually builds leadership skills at an early age. This helps one become more of a team player and manage tasks in larger group settings.

3. Promotes Accountability and Responsibility for One’s Actions

When students engage in a project with their respective responsibility, they also need to be accountable for failure or accomplishment of the activity. It teaches them to contribute and be active participants.

4. Allows Retaining a Lesson for a Long Time

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The collaborative learning method comprises activities that help students retain concepts more effectively. Activity-based learning leaves a better impact than a theory class.

5. Inculcates a Problem-Solving Approach

Even if one member fails to solve a problem with a positive mindset, other members can motivate the team and find solutions together.

6. Develops Effective Communication Skills

When students work together, they are required to express their opinion and disagreements respectfully. This method of learning enriches their confidence and improves their communication skills. Effective communication skills go a long way.

7. Teaches Active Listening and Dealing With Criticism

This practice calls for the ability to take criticism constructively and learn from mistakes instead of letting them affect one’s performance. To reach successful outcomes, group members also need to apply active listening.

8. Helps Learn the Importance of Goals

Working together makes each member responsible for the achievement of the goal that is set for the project. When each student understands the importance of attaining the goal for their team, they will put more effort into it.

Tips and Strategies for Collaborative Learning

This unique methodology has been the best fit for face-to-face activities. But with the shift in learning platforms from offline to online, the need for incorporating strategies that suit both types of mediums is evident. Fortunately, this practice is equally beneficial in remote learning setups due to its core ideology.

Below are some tips and strategies that teachers can incorporate to extract maximum benefits from collaborative learning in the class.

1. Create Mid-Sized Groups

Small groups of 2-3 students lack the diversity of opinion and ideas whereas larger ones of more than 6 students can fail in terms of individual participation. Both are detrimental to the intent of this learning tactic. The ideal size of a group should be 4-5 members.

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2. Set Clear Expectations

One thing that your students should be certain about is the goal that they have to achieve as a group through the task they are assigned. You should also communicate each individual’s responsibility at the advent of the project. This will prevent confusion and allow students to focus more.

3. Establish Norms and Guidelines

Some students can easily slip out of the project assuming that their peers in the team will complete the assignment. Thus, it becomes essential at the time of group formation to decide the norms for the entire class. You can also rotate the students if you see one group failing to adhere to the guidelines.

4. Reward Teams’ Achievements with Scores

Treat each group assignment as an assessment and reward the teams with scores for their collaborative performance in the assigned task and individuals for their contributions. This will encourage your students to participate actively.

5. Use Different Strategies

The collaborative learning approach involves many teaching techniques that can be put to use for attaining desired results of projects or assignments. A few of the popular strategies are

  • jigsaw technique;
  • think-pair-share;
  • brainwriting approach;
  • discussion questions;
  • peer review and feedback;
  • scaffolding.

6. Interact With Each Team Personally

A teacher’s engagement allows students to rely on the instructor for any problem that may arise. You can also build trust and open communication amongst members with your participation.

Conclusion

Like any other learning methodology, the collaborative approach gives educators the freedom to experiment and apply strategies that work best for their students. Many educators are enriching their classes with this method. Students find classes filled with interactive activities more interesting. So, this guide to collaborative learning is definitely worth a shot if you haven’t applied it yet.