Increase motivation and engagement in your classroom with collaborative learning strategies that put students at the centre of their own learning. This studio explores collaborative learning activities and strategies for immediate use in your classroom.
Authentic collaborative learning activities make learners the focus of instruction (and learning) and the experiences real and meaningful. Students share their knowledge and perspectives and become responsible and in control of their own learning. Authentic collaborative learning is more than simply talking or doing group work (eg. constructing an essay in a group) – it occurs when learners are engaged with each other, creating knowledge and making meaning.
It can be helpful to think of a course at a basic level as structured around content, activities, assessment. Collaborative learning can be designed for any of those components and often they overlap. Students can create content reflecting their unique perspectives, collaborative learning activities can extend learning beyond the classroom, and collaborative assessment can result in greater engagement and motivation and deeper learning.
Collaborative learning can take place inside or outside the classroom – using technology, or not. It really depends on what you want to achieve. For example, mobile technologies can make it easier for students to create content, collaborate, have convenient access, and greater portability.
- Student-created paramedic videos to demonstrate procedures: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBKzJzL9KBA . Students, in collaboration with the instructor, created demonstration videos that can be accessed on their mobile devices while doing simulations. This provides them with a just-in-time learning tool.
- Jon Beasley-Murray’s student-created Wikipedia pages: http://flexible.learning.ubc.ca/news-events/teaching-with-wikipedia/. Students create authentic Wikipedia article that are highly visible: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Murder_Madness_and_Mayhem
- Student created Histology chapters / ibook: Assignment description: https://ipads4educationdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/histology-project.pdf . ibook example: Instead of assigning a textbook, an instructor can assign students to collaboratively create chapters of the textbook during the course.
- Transition into groups of four.
- Designate a timekeeper in each group.
- Each group has a deck of Collaborative Learning Cards (short link http://bit.ly/udg-jigsaw). En español: Collaborative Learning Cards in Spanish http://udg.theagoraonline.net/category/cards-espanol/.
- Each group member chooses one card, reads it, and thinks of an example related to the collaborative strategy described on their card.
- Taking turns, each member shares their example with their group. How might you use these ideas in your classroom? Why or why not?
- Each group chooses one Collaborative Learning strategy. As a group decide how this activity could be applied in one of the courses of your group as either content creation, a learning activity or an assessment of learning.
- The notetaker completes the response for this challenge in the Challenge bank. Think about about a possible mobile application. Remember to be intentional – avoid creating a collaborative activity to simply keep students busy, and try to be clear about what you are trying to achieve with this strategy.
Collaborative strategies can be used in class, out of class, with or without technology. Use collaborative strategies to put your students at the centre of their learning.