What Is Collaborative Learning?
Collaborative learning is an educational approach to teaching and learning that involves groups of students working together to solve a problem, complete a task, or create a product.
According to Gerlach, “Collaborative learning is based on the idea that learning is a naturally social act in which the participants talk among themselves (Gerlach, 1994). It is through the talk that learning occurs.”
Collaborative learning is engaging, social and fun!
- Collaborative Learning is an active process, a fun challenge that requires learners to actively engage with their peers
- Collaborative Learning includes data processing. You sift through the knowledge you have already acquired and choose the relevant info to use in problem solving debates/discussions.
- Collaborative Learning is more about processing and synthesising information rather than simply memorising and regurgitating it.
- Collaborative Learning is diverse and fluid and sees the learner benefit from being exposed to different viewpoints from people with varied backgrounds.
- Collaborative Learning is rooted in a social environment where conversation between learners takes place.
- When applied appropriately, collaborative learning can lead to deep, academic learning, or transformative learning.
- Collaborative learning as a result can also directly support the development of a range of high level intellectual skills, such as critical thinking, analytical thinking, synthesis, and evaluation, which are key requirements for learners in a digital age.
How does Collaborative Learning work?
In a collaborative learning setting, learners have the opportunity to converse with peers, present and defend ideas, exchange diverse beliefs, question other conceptual frameworks, and be actively engaged.
In order for collaboration to succeed, everyone involved needs to feel that they have something to gain from the collaboration or feel that they are doing a meaningful thing and working towards a valuable end result.
Motivating Adult Learners to collaborate – be sure to highlight the benefits!
Example: We motivate members in our Facebook Group for Mobile & Digital Elearning Tools for Teachers, Trainers and Lecturers with peer led problem solving solutions
2) Problem Solving
For collaboration to work, participants need to work together to solve problems, offering advice and help when needed. Two minds are better than one but better yet, how about three or four?
Example of Collaborative Problem Solving in our Facebook Group for Mobile & Digital Elearning Tools for Teachers, Trainers and Lecturers
Collaboration encourages participants to consider alternatives. Collaboration work best when the group has a wide range of skills and participants have differing areas expertise
Example: Diversity in our Facebook Group for Mobile & Digital Elearning Tools for Teachers, Trainers and Lecturers enables a sharing of experience and expertise from those more experienced to those less experienced.
Collaboration brings individuals together into a group entity with a shared work purpose.
Collaboration encourages everyone to be an active player. The participants decide when things need to happen and them make them happen. firstname.lastname@example.org