Collaborative learning and assessment


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Collaborative learning and assessment

  1. 1. Collaborative Learning and Assessment<br />A Round Table Discussion<br />
  2. 2. What is collaborative learning?<br />A simple definition of collaborative learning is “group work”. However, not all groups work collaboratively.<br />Real collaboration involves social interaction, where participants share their ideas, and actively contribute to solve a problem or complete a task (Curry n.d.).<br />It can be synonymous with social constructivism, where collaboration leads to the creation of knowledge and meaning (Smith and Ragan 2005). That collaboration includes communication, participation in activities, and interaction. Students should be actively comparing their ideas in order to co-construct their knowledge(Lock and Redmond 2006).<br />Curry (n.d.) provides a description of the qualities necessary for a team to successfully solve the problem. These include establishing proper group dynamics (acceptance of value and worth of individuals, conflict resolution, commitment and more).<br />(Lott 2006)<br />
  3. 3. Collaborative learning can mimic “real-world” situations, and be a learning experience in and of itself. The shift from industrial to informational societies stress the need for communication, team work, and collaboration for success in the workplace (Elliott 2008).<br />(Emagic 2005)<br />In the online environment, attrition due to isolation is a significant problem. Collaborate learning can ameliorate this isolation (Curry n.d.)<br />“Good learning is collaborative and that understanding comes through modeling, participation in, and reaction to the behaviors and thoughts of others” (Pawan, Paulus, Yalcin and Chang 2003).<br />Why is collaboration necessary?<br />
  4. 4. How is collaboration conducted online?<br />Students must have the technical skills to successfully communicate online, and must also have or develop the social skills necessary for collaboration (Curry n.d.)<br />Synchronous:<br />Live chat with or without audio<br />Video conferencing<br />Asynchronous:<br />Discussion boards<br />Wikis<br />Email<br />Blogs<br />Web-based collaborate document/project creation<br />Instructors can still provide structure by providing guidelines, subdividing the project, promoting team dynamics, and maintaining contact to provide assistance and feedback (curry n.d.).<br />Specific timelines, and a mutually agreed upon mode of communication is necessary to ensure progress as well as inclusion of all team members.<br />
  5. 5. (Hayes 2009)<br />
  6. 6. What are some of the challenges?<br />In the past, technologically, the requirements were not as easy to acquire and not equally accessible to all (Sherren and Kavakli 2003).<br />However, if a student is already engaged in online courses, free web 2.0 applications for communication and collaboration are more easily accessible than in the past.<br />Team dynamics could follow a number of different models and the best one is chosen based upon each situation. The criteria can include expertise of the group members with “natural” leaders as a result, a need for equal contributions in the case of brainstorming situations, and the comfort level of group members based upon their ease with online learning and communication. Determining the best model for team work can be challenging (Sherren and Kavakli 2003).<br />The project must be challenging to warrant collaboration (Curry n.d.)<br />Community must be established prior to collaborative work toward a complex goal (Lock and Redmond 2006)<br />The online environment can frequently display “pathological politeness”, with little challenge or critique. The educator must promote this type of critical dialogue (Lock and Redmond 2006)<br />(Lemoine 2008)<br />
  7. 7. How can it be assessed?<br />Formative assessment can occur through ongoing communication and collaboration, as through the use of a blog allowing for feedback.<br />Problems created for online collaboration must be authentic, requiring the creation of an original product, which resembles a real world task. These final products represent summative assessments (Elliott 2008).<br />Assessment should be valid (allowing for engagement in authentic tasks), reliable, affordable (web 2.0 applications are largely free) and usable (the applications mimic other tools that students have experience with or are otherwise intuitive). <br />(Seibert 2008)<br />
  8. 8. (Elliott 2008)<br />
  9. 9. Questions to consider…<br />Do we rush community building in the online environment? How can we make it more successful – more time or other methods?<br />How can assessment be fair? The online environment makes it even more challenging to determine individual effort…<br />What can instructors do to guide students through proper use of these collaborative tools OR what should schools be doing to train these instructors?<br />(Author unknown 2009)<br />
  10. 10. References<br />Curry, D. Bruce (n.d.) Collaborate, connected, and experiential learning: reflection of an online learner. Retrieved on May 19, 2011 from<br />Elliott, Bobby (2008). Online collaborative assessment. Retrieved on May 19, 2011 from<br />Lock, Jennifer V. and Petrea Redmond (2006). International online collaboration: modeling online learning and teaching. Retrieved on May 19, 2011 from<br />Pawan, F., T.M. Paulus, S. Yalcin, and C.F. Chang (2003). Online learning: Patterns of engagment and interaction amon in-service teachers. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from<br />Sherren, Kate and ManolyaKavakli (2003). An online collaboration model for the distance education of cartography. Retrieved on May 19, 2011 from<br />Smith, Patricia L. and Tillman J. Ragan (2005). Instructional Design. Third ed. Hoboken, New Jersey:John Wiley & Sons, Inc.<br />(Woodleywonderworks 2010)<br />
  11. 11. Image Credits:<br />Author unknown (2009). 3D character and question mark. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from<br />Emagic (2005). Good question. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from<br />Hayes, Gary (2009). Web 2.0 online collaboration. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from<br />Lemoine, Guillaume (2008). Obstacle. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from<br />Lott, Chris (2006). Collaboration. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from<br />Seibert, Fred (2008). I smell a pop quiz by Lincoln Peirce. Retrieved from<br />Woodleywonderworks (2011).Thank you note for every language. Retrieved on May 20, 2011 from<br />