Impact Of Collabrative Learning

Posted: December 9, 2015

Many classrooms have already adopted the practice of collaborative learning (CL), and we are seeing more and more teachers/institutions incorporating it in with their traditional teaching techniques. Even though collaborative learning is on the rise, there still is a lot of controversy about whether it’s an effective way to learn or if it is actually hindering the student. Before one can even form an opinion on CL it is important to know exactly what it is. CL is educational approach to teaching and learning that involves students working together to solve a problem, completing a assigned task, and to reaching group goals in an educational setting. This way of learning takes out the “lecture” and memorization element from learning and switches it with active engagement from the students in the form of group discussions and projects to process  the information being presented. The teacher acts as a mentor, observing the groups, answering questions as needed, and is there for support and guidance. This type of approach puts the responsibility of learning on the student.                
                                                                                                                                           Image Provided by New Buy Media

Now that we have established exactly what CL is let’s look at some of the benefits of incorporating this teaching style into the classroom.  When students work and collaborate in groups together, they learn skills that they will need throughout their whole life. They are learning critical thinking skills, conflict resolution, and accountability.  Students develop critical thinking skills because they are working with one another to problem solve instead of getting the answers handed to them, and this is where  conflict resolutions plays a key role. When students are working together to solve a problem, each student is giving their own opinion and reasoning. This is going to lead to debates because each student is going to have a different reasoning or justification. Together, they are able to talk it out and come up with the best solution possible. They’re also going to learn accountability because each group member is responsible for the work to be done, if one group member fails, they are letting the team down. They can hold each other accountable and remember they are working together towards one common goal. If these skills are learned and implemented young, it’s going to teach them to work in groups and how to handle situations. That way by the time they grow up and are working in a career field, they know how to work and collaborate with the other members. Other benefits from CL include, but not limited to, diversity understanding, increased productivity, and strong communication skills.

We have all worked in groups before and know some of the challenges that come along with it; you get that one member who thinks they have the best opinion, or the member that hardly participates. One of the best ways that teachers can ensure that students are pulling equal weight and everyone is being included is to make sure that each group is dynamic. Make sure that your students have different strengths and that they build each other up. Another good idea is to make sure that the groups go through every stage of the group formation by Bruce Tuckman. The four stages are forming, storming, norming, and performing, and adjourning. For more information about this process check out this article on MindTools.

Here at Spectrum we understand the importance of collaboration, weather it is with our own employees, or for our customers. We offer a variety of different collaboration tables that make it easy for students, or businesses, to successfully collaborate with one another. Our tables are equipped with the latest technologies making projects or presentations that much easier! For example, here is a picture of our InVision Access Nano Table. If you want to see more of our products like this you can check out our website or you can even check out some videos on our YouTube Channel.
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