Maple Group: Chris Anderson Crystal Medlin Donna Moody
• Promotes deeper levels of knowledge• Promotes initiative, creativity and development of critical thinking skills• Promotes Co-creation of knowledge• Promotes Reflection
• A sense of community must exist for collaboration to occur • Collaborative learning means that a shared understanding of the subject is necessary in order to work toward common learning goals. • The most meaningful learning experiences can occur in productive discussion, interaction between learners, and dialogue. • In turn, these can provide learners with a sense of connectivity and community, enhancing the collaborative learning experience. • Teachers that are able to incorporate small group learning experiences that are inviting, productive, and engaging will encourage learners to repeat the collaborative learning experience independently as well.
• All the people involved• Shared purpose Sharing information, experiences, interests, resources• Guidelines Structure of the course, groundrules for participation and interaction• Technology or Meeting Places• Collaborative Learning Student-to-student interaction• Reflection To reinforce and transform the learning
• Collaboration is arguably the most important 21st century skill for learners.• It is important because… • helps learners to develop communication and social skills • learners are able to gain experience in working with diverse groups of people • learners get practice in working toward common goals
• Collaboration is arguably the most important 21st century skill for learners.• It is important because… • helps learners to gain insight to their own strengths and weaknesses • learners are able to practice problem-solving and critical thinking at a higher level with group members. • collaborative learning simulates the learning strategies used in today’s work forces and places of employment. • learners are able to develop interpersonal working relationships as they work toward accomplishing a common goal.
PLCs: The Good….The Bad….The Ugly!!• The Good: PLC of Academic Coaches Meets monthly Common goals but are willing to use different strategies to reach those goals Members have different strengths and weaknesses Members use their individual strengths to contribute to the group Group shares ‘power’….no one person in ‘in charge’
Forming: when groups get to know one another Norming: when groups figure out how to work together Storming: Problem-solving where there will be disagreement and/or conflict Benefits of this stage: Allows group members to see different viewpoints Might result in a positive change in a behavior/strategy Can strengthen an individuals knowledge if forced to defend an opinion Develops a skills needed in ‘real world Working through conflict building consensus..give and take Stronger group if worked through it Performing: when groups work to complete the task Adjourning: when groups end the work and disband or regroup for other tasks
PLCs: The Good….The Bad….The Ugly!!• The Bad and The Ugly: PLC of Teachers and Administrator Meets twice weekly Common goals but goals were set by administrator (EOC scores) Focus of meetings is on failures/shortcomings rather than strategies to reach goals Members have little input on the agenda and/or direction of meetings Power within the group lies primarily with administrator
Set the Stage Preparation and Planning are essential. One must bring to the class strategies to introduce the content and the medium. Prepare an orientation session to introduce the content and features of the class, particularly the features of the medium. A tutorial(s) will be handy in assisting students in navigating the program.Create the environment Establishing Tone is essential. Tone is what the instructor brings to the class to establish in the students a particular “mood” in approaching the class. Ideally the environment will be inviting, non- threatening, open to exchange, perceived as fair, and challenging. Start from Day 1 to create a sense of community. Personalize the process with an introduction that the students can model and then execute on their own. Such an environment will allow for the free flow of ideas and will minimize obstacles to successful learning. An effective icebreaker should open the class to these attributes of a successful learning environment.
Model the process When communicating with students use strategies that serve to simultaneously instruct and display. One example is to use a personal introduction to at once introduce yourself and to show students what sorts of information would be appropriate in an introduction. Make students aware when you have modeled a process so that they benefit from this strategy.Guide the process Stay engaged in the students ongoing work. This can be done for the group or for an individual who might not understand the process or expectations. Always be aware of tone when communicating with students. Facilitating student progress and student learning should be the goal in guiding students through the class. Be tactfully honest in the most non-threatening of manners. Such honesty will serve as a model and will benefit all students.Evaluate the process • Create clear expectations, goals, and rubrics. Try to take as much subjectivity as possible out of the evaluation process. Always refer to the expectations and rubrics when assigning work. Respond promptly to questions, issues and concerns about grades or the grading processes. Be firm with the class and with each individual with respect to evaluation in order that fairness is foremost.
• As an instructor, I can ensure successful collaboration by.. • Using helpful collaboration tools in my online classroom (like wikis, blogs, small group projects). • Preparing and scaffolding student learning with well-designed activities and projects that REQUIRE collaboration between learners. • Using smaller group projects with specific learning goals that encourage the building of collaboration skills over time. • Planning well for each stage of group work. • Carefully explaining to the groups how the groups will operate, and how the grading will be determined. • Allowing students the opportunity to practice the collaboration skills that I hope to see develop and improve over time (listening, constructive criticism, managing disagreements, etc.). • Using learning group agreements, or other forms of learning contracts to increase the level of investment made within the learning groups.