Collaborative learning is a modern approach to learning which is becoming frequently popular in the educational system. It refers to the approach in which people form groups to try to learn something through sharing of ideas and wisdom. The application of collaborative learning in our educational system has been giving quite encouraging results Education. This is the main reason for the popularity of the collaborative learning approach. Following are some tips and strategies for teachers to help them incorporate collaborative learning in their classrooms.
The most crucial step in collaborative learning is establishing clear group goals that are to be achieved. Along with the establishment of goals, individual accountability should also be made sure for Education. Defining goals for all members helps to remove any ambiguity present in the group, and the focus of efforts is directed towards a mutual point.
The size of the group matters a lot as small-sized groups lack diversity and large-sized groups create an environment of freeloading. The probability of participation of every member is minimized. Both situations are harmful to the attainment of objectives and goals of Education. Therefore, the size of the group must be kept moderate.
Flexible group norms:
In collaborative learning, the quality of interaction between group members carries great importance. Every member must get an equal chance and freedom to express himself. Therefore, it is essential to establish flexible norms in the group which are acceptable to everyone and are adjustable according to the situation.
Trust building among group members is the key to quality communication, which is ultimately the key to collective learning. Individual efforts should be encouraged in the group to motivate members to enhance their performance. There should exist open communication between the members, and new ideas should be welcomed.
If the group has to perform a more significant task, you can create group roles to divide the larger task into smaller jobs. This helps in saving time and easy accomplishment of group goals. The parts can be chosen by group members with a mutual agreement, or one person can assign roles to every member according to his abilities.
The performance of the group can be assessed through conducting tests in the group. For example, you may create a pre-test and a post-test to measure the performance difference and evaluate the progress. It also helps in identifying whether the group policies and strategies need any change or they are good to go.
Support and guidance:
The support and guidance of teachers play a significant role in collaborative learning, and in its absence, the group ceases to perform as intended or desired. Therefore, teachers must be there to guide students throughout their learning and provide support whenever they need it so that time can be saved.
To enhance learning, different techniques must be employed in the group. An example of such a strategy is the jigsaw strategy which assists in improving social interaction within the group Education. It also supports diversity in the group. Students can master a specific topic in this technique as they are assigned different topics, as happens in the assignment help uk.
Reduction in anxiety:
Groups must be facilitated and encouraged to reduce anxiety prevalent in them while solving difficult tasks and problems. Stress-releasing techniques such as using humor can help in this situation to create a positive environment in the group and encouraging members to contribute with the best of their talents.
The establishment of group interactions is a vital requirement that must be fulfilled. The quality of interaction in the group is an indicator of its performance and achievement of goals Education. Students should function together to perform task functions such as discussion initiation, points clarification, summarizing, researching, and reaching a consensus.
The use of real-world problems for problem-solving and as examples help in providing students with a more realistic view which ultimately helps in finding the solution quicker.
Critical thinking skills:
The development and use of analytical and critical thinking skills in collaborative learning help in problem-solving with lesser time implication. The critical thinking approach in problem-solving includes many steps such as the gathering of data, generation of course of action, reaching a decision, and others.
Diversity in groups promotes collective learning/Education. This fact must be kept in mind while group formation and members with different ideas, talents, experiences, and learning styles should be included in a group.
As per our knowledge Demographics should also be considered while forming groups. For example, balanced gender groups are considered to be the best performing groups.
Teachers must use the diminishing responsibility approach as the group starts functioning properly. They must play a role of a facilitator by making the group responsible gradually. You may need to provide more guidance in the beginning than in the end when group members understand and fulfill their responsibilities.
Different learning scenarios:
You may include different types of learning scenarios in a group. Researches show that groups that are involved in challenging questions and rich context usually perform better, producing high-order reasoning. It may include assignments such as collaborative writing, problem-solving, project writing, debates, study teams, and laboratory work.
Use of technology:
Technology makes almost everything easier. Similarly, it adds a lot of comfort and ease to collaborative learning also. In addition, it increases learning opportunities in the group. There are many free tools that may help and tips in the incorporation of technology to support learning in collaborative learning.
Bad group work avoidance:
To ensure success, you must try your best to avoid “bad group work.” This can be avoided by employing a balanced approach and strategies in the group. Sometimes, collaboration is found to be reducing creative thinking among individuals by not allowing them to have enough time for generating ideas.
A group can only succeed when group members respect each other in person and the ideas of each other. This is crucial for bringing peace and harmony to the group.
Treat the learning process as a part of the assessment:
This technique will help in the individual evaluation of the contribution and participation of members. In addition, the assessment of the learning process helps to motivate students to behave properly in the group.