Peer Collaboration Active Learning in the Traditional Classroom & Beyond
Interest Points Student Affairs Administrator Student Development Leadership Career Conversation as Learning How? When? Why?
Inquiry Questions What is the value of collaborative learning in the classroom? What methods are used in the classroom? Does research support these activities’ effectiveness? What are the criticism/drawbacks? How can these methods be applied outside of traditional classrooms?
Early Research Vygotsky (1978) Social Development Theory Social interaction plays a role in cognitive development “More Knowledgeable Other “Zone of Proximal Development” Gap is where learning actually occurs Early research focused on trying to figure if and when collaborative learning is more effective than individual learning Newer research focuses on on the interactions themselves
Definitions Collaborative Learning – learning occurs through natural social interactions where the participants interact with one another (Gerlach 1994) Active learning –type of teaching that focuses on the responsibility of learning on learners. It involves students directly and actively KISSES: Example of rules that promote collaborative, active learning Image source: http://www.tammypayton.net/courses/collab/what.shtml
Focus on Conversation All learning is based on conversation From infancy to adulthood – learning occurs through interaction with others “Education initiates us into conversation, and by virtue of that conversation initiates us into thought” - Bruffee Learning communities Bruffee (1999) – students learn through their interactions within learning communities Ladson-Billings (1995) – need to develop a common language to promote learning
Support for Collaboration Bruffee – Discussion can spark discussion and increase exposure to new ideas and concepts Svinicki & McKeachie – “student teaching other students” is the best concrete answer to “what is the most effective method of teaching” Miller & Groccia – cooperative learning promotes an increase in the ability to work with others Promotes cognitive development “To teach is to learn twice….” -Joseph Joubert, French Moralist & Essayist
Examples of Collaboration in the Classroom Student-led discussion groups Peer teaching / tutoring Team-based learning assignments Syndicates
Considerations How do we form groups for group work? How do you determine the best method of peer collaboration for specific learning tasks? How do we assess individual learning within the group? If/When is individual learning better?
Application Outside of the Traditional Classroom How can this be applied outside of the classroom? By nature, extracurricular activities typically occur in group settings….. Student Organizations Seminars Workshops University Events (MLK Day, Homecoming, etc.) Promotes…. teamwork skills process-oriented design leadership techniques
References Bruffee, K. A. (1999). Collaboration, conversation, and reacculturation. In Collaborative learning: Higher education, interdependence, and the authority of knowledge (pp. 3-20). Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press. Gerlach, J. M. (1994). "Is this collaboration?” In Bosworth, K. and Hamilton, S. J. (Eds.), Collaborative Learning: Underlying Processes and Effective Techniques, New Directions for Teaching and Learning No. 59. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465-491. Miller, J. E., & Groccia, J. E. (1997). Are four heads better than one? A comparison of cooperative and traditional teaching formats in an introductory biology course. Innovative Higher Education, 21, 253-273. Svinicki, Marilla, & McKeachie, Wilbert. (2010). Mckeachie's teaching tips. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub Co. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.