Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Promoting Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning amongst learners can be a fulfilling experience in an online environment.  The concept of collaborative learning is to bring a group of individual learners together to achieve a common learning objective. In this setting, each individual is responsible for a specific role or function in moving the group to a common goal. The advantage of collaborative learning is the shared experiences that the group shares and the critical thinking that takes place as a result. In addition, learners are challenged in ways that are present in individual activities.

In collaborative learning environments, learners engage with peers, present and defend ideas, and exchange diverse perspectives that promote a new knowledge framework. However, collaborative learning can present several challenges that can compromise the team’s success. Conflicts can arise which will stunt the team’s progress. Furthermore, learners who have limited experience in a collaborative setting may struggle in this social setting.

Assignment:  In this week’s assignment, perform an Internet search on collaborative learning techniques in an online environment. As you search various articles and resources, make note of the advantages and disadvantages of collaborative learning. Once complete, use cited sources from your Internet search and your own personal experiences to answer the following questions:

1.  What benefits and challenges do you foresee with collaborative learning in an online environment?   List at least 2 benefits and 2 challenges.

2.  Why are effective communication techniques important in this type of setting?

3.  In what ways should collaborative learning be used?

4.  What determines a group’s success in collaborative learning environments?