Collaborative learning in the Classroom is an approach that has fostered learning both in school. It has effectively engaged students to progress and integrate information and ideas instead of memorization.
What Is Collaborative Learning?
Collaborative learning is a way of learning that involves groups of learners cooperating to solve problems, complete tasks, or learn a new concept. It is a methodology of using groups to enhance learning through working together. According to Virgil Abloh (Chief executive officer of off-white), “collaboration is that you give and take from each other, and that’s how you create things that are new”.
By defending their position, reevaluating ideas, listening to a different perspective, and articulating their points, students will gain a more complete understanding as a group than they could as individuals. Similar to the idea that two or three heads are better than one, educational researchers have discovered that through collaborative learning, students teach each other by addressing misunderstandings and clarifying misconceptions. Through this learning approach, students can share their strengths.
Why Use Collaborative Learning in the Classroom?
Active, social, contextual, engaging, and student-owned educational interactions, according to research, contribute to deeper learning. The following are some of the advantages of collaborative learning in the classroom:
- Enhance self-management and leadership skills – At the point when people are entrusted with cooperating to accomplish a shared objective, they are being allowed the chance to develop high-level skills. While sorting out, appointing, and teaching, they are figuring out how to manage both themselves as well as other people while leading beneficially.
- It promotes student-faculty interaction.
- It increases student retention, confidence, and responsibility.
- In the collaborative learning environment, the students are tested both socially and emotionally as they listen to alternate points of view, and are needed to explain and shield their ideas. In doing so, the students start to make their unique theoretical framework and not depend entirely on an expert’s or a text’s idea.
- It exposes students to the understanding of diverse perspectives.
- It improves cooperation – when given a particular objective, students are bound to participate in an insightful conversation with one another, improving both their understanding of the subject and their esteem for one another.
Characteristics Of Collaborative Learning in The Classroom
- Members of the group are responsible for each other.
- There is a positive interdependence among members of a collaborative learning group.
- Leadership is shared among members.
- The top priority is to attend to the group’s goal and objective, have fun, and enjoy each other
- There is a coordinated effort in problem-solving.
Disadvantages of Collaborative Learning in The Classroom
- It sometimes leads to the overdependence of members on one another. This can have negative effects on the individual student by lacking the ability to perform tasks alone.
- Due to the interdependence among members of a learning group, conflicts between members can diminish or slow down a group’s ability to work together. This raises a critical issue when group members are too young to even consider having conflict resolution skills.
- Differences in learning ability can pose a serious problem in collaborative learning. People go at different speeds. People that are slow in learning tend to be left behind or on the contrary, carry along and slow the group down.
- Sometimes someone may want to take over the group.
- The time spent discussing irrelevant topics is extraordinary.
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Strategies to Build on Student Collaboration in the Classroom
Choose which students will collaborate on a regular basis
If left to their own devices, students may form groups of friends with similar interests. When a teacher makes groupings, he or she can pair students based on their strengths and weaknesses, carefully balancing skill, variety, and social ability.
To get the most out of your groups, make sure they’re the right size.
If a group is too small, ideas and debate may be limited or ineffective; if the group is too big, some students may not participate. The ideal group size is four to five people.
Teach the students how to communicate with one another by teaching them to listen to one another.
Active listening isn’t a normal skill for young students. Taking the time to talk about and practice communication skills with your students – such as training them to maintain eye contact, stop interruptions, and repeat key points – has both short and long-term benefits.
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Set the ground rules for communication and cooperation.
Each group will often have one or two students who are more likely to take over. Take the time to teach students how to explain problems, paraphrase, disagree productively and build on the contributions of others.
Make your objectives and priorities clear.
It’s important to have clear objectives and priorities. Group work has the ability to devolve into socialization or apathy if students are unclear about the objectives they are supposed to achieve.
Assign responsibilities to each group’s members.
Students will better understand what is expected of them when roles are described. It’s obvious how each student can fulfill his or her duties with roles like a leader (directs the group’s activities for the day), recorder (takes notes and does all writing), encourager (allows dialogue and provides constructive feedback), and checker (checks the work and hands it in).
Make use of real-life scenarios.
Project-based learning with open-ended questions, according to experts, can be very stimulating. Rather than wasting a lot of time creating a fake scenario, draw inspiration from real-world issues. Real-world problems can be used to promote project-based learning and are also well-suited to collaborative learning.
In conclusion, collaborative learning is very essential for human development. According to Don Tapscott (Canadian author), “Collaboration is important not just because it’s a better way to learn. The spirit of collaboration is penetrating every institution and all of our lives. So learning to collaborate is part of equipping yourself for effectiveness, problem-solving, innovation, and life-long learning in an ever-changing networked economy”.
The importance of collaborative learning can not be overemphasized. Amy Poehler (American actress) said, “As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own.
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