Collaborative learning (CL) is considered as one of the methods to improve the effectiveness of group activities in schools. Traditional learning (TL) methods such as individual, normal group work, etc., have the teachers as a key role in assisting students who are experiencing difficulties in the classroom. In contrast, CL requires the teacher to only act as an observer, with the majority of the activities being completed by the students themselves. So, how does this method differ from TL, what benefits does it provide, and how can you develop effective CL skills? Let’s check with Pandas right now!

1- What exactly does collaborative learning mean?

Back to the original definition, in the article Benefits of collaborative learning, 2012, Marjan and Seyed defined “Collaboration” as a promising mode of human engagement that has become a twenty-first-century trend. Also, the need to think and work collaboratively on critical issues has increased, causing stress to shift from individual efforts to teamwork and from autonomy to the community.

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What are the benefits of collaborative learning? – Image: Pandos.

With the meaning above, CL in education is known as a concept of activity in which students with various abilities, performance levels, personalities, etc. work together within one group toward common goals. By that, each student not only takes responsibility for their own performance but for other members, too. As a result! The aim of creating CL teams is mostly to pull achievements for the entire team.

2- The real benefits of adapting collaborative learning style.

Marjan and Seyed also provided proof from their secondary research which shows a major component of learning includes training students in the social skills required to work cooperatively, and there are many benefits to creating a CL team. The best method to organize CL advantages is to categorize them. Here’s how it went down:

Social benefits
  • Helps to develop a social support system for learners;
  • Leads to build diverse understanding among students and staff;
  • Establishes a positive atmosphere for modeling and practicing cooperation, and;
  • Develops learning communities.
Psychological benefits
  • Student-centered instruction increases students’ self-esteem;
  • Cooperation reduces anxiety, and;
  • Develops positive attitudes towards Educators.
Academic benefits
  • Promotes critical thinking skills
  • Students are actively involved in the learning process
  • Classroom results are improved
  • Models appropriate student problem-solving techniques
  • Large lectures can be personalized
  • Motivate students in a specific curriculum
Alternate student and teacher assessment techniques
  • Collaborative teaching techniques utilize a variety of assessments.
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Four main benefits of having collaborative learning skills – Image: Pandos.

Overall, CL is clearly can be seen to have many benefits, especially in online group work. This learning method not only improves team performance and team relationships, but also helps individuals gain their goals, be more responsible, or acknowledge their self-esteem in a positive way.

3- Tips to have effective collaborative learning in online teams.

In live classes, CL is a common method for group activities. But in fact, online classes need it even more, and there are good reasons for this. For instance, CL can help increase individuals’ desire to learn more than self-study, reduce researching time on the Internet, or better communication between members, etc. These benefits would likely result in a significant boost of productivity teamwork. Therefore, let’s find out ways to apply collaborative learning skills in online group work.

Find your ideal partners

It is best to have ideal members in your team who match such requirements as personality, skill, or timetable. In order to create such a team like that, you should learn more about classmates before deciding to join their group, or when you want to invite someone to join your group. Indeed, this process can be quite time-consuming as it is important for the team to work together in the long run. But, you don’t have to worry though! Today, there are many tools that can assist online teams to work effectively, and it even helps them to analyze members. Depending on different uses, team management tools can provide different features that solve your specific problems.

One-minute ad! If your problem is about team formation, then Pandos app can be a perfect solution for you. By using our team management tool, you can completely filter your members based on multiple criteria such as gender, interests, ability, personality, free timetable, and much more functions that can help you in managing teams effectively! What’s more interesting, Pandos has a Big 5 scientific standard personality test which helps you to accurate perspective of yourself and your team members!

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Pandos app can help you with teamwork problems! – Image: Pandos.

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Define team goal at the first place

Uh oh! Did you know that most groups often forget this step?! Besides achieving certain requirements set by the lecturers, groups also need to have their own goals, too. For example, these goals could be completing tasks one week earlier before the deadline, or maybe getting extra points or even setting goal of being the most active group! Whatever the case may be, having this extra step will help the team be more cohesive and get the task done faster.

Btw, Pandos can help you remind members to meet deadlines professionally with a click of a button! Check how!

Create online activities for groups and classes

Traditional classroom learning does not always adapt well to online learning. Students may have a terrible learning experience if the status quo is maintained. So, you wonder, how can we make it more engaging? Here’s how to stay away from the dreaded boring class. Face-to-face games can be technologically enhanced, or you can utilize a number of tools such as Kahoot, team strategy games, Q&A games, and so on. Make your online learning experience more than just a conversation between you and your laptop, phone, or other devices; make it a social activity!

Receive feedback, of course!

Rather than guessing at facial expressions, let assessment results speak for itself. This is more precise than speculating on what members think of one another. As a result, educators will be able to determine which evaluations in their classes need to be improved. Of course, most team management tools have evaluation function which help the whole team can improve their performance. But what if you or other members are apprehensive about speaking up? Not a problem! Pandos is made specifically for you! You can create a wide range of questions for your members, and all assessments are completely anonymous.

Check out Pandos’ assessment function review here!

In the future, you will most likely have to work with online teams rather than working together in person. Therefore, with the tips of adapting collaborative learning skills above, Pandos believes that online teamwork will no longer be a barrier in your learning journey! Good luck!

References:

Marjan. L. & Seyed. M.G. (2012). Benefits of collaborative learning. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 31, 486 – 490.

About Pandos Intelligence Inc.
Pandos Intelligence Inc (PI) is a software company based in Ontario, Canada. The company’s main product is a web app that facilitates team formation, task management, and team assessment for education and business.
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