Today we want to dwell on how to enhance collaborative learning, its use in classrooms. As we have previously, the main idea of collaborative learning is that knowledge is created within a group, through the interaction of several of its members, therefore the main task of the teacher is to provide students with spaces for this communication to be possible.
Children should be able to take advantage of each other’s skills and resources, both their peers and the teacher, as well as the tools outside the classroom that are necessary, and here we think about the Internet and other sources.
Encourage collaborative learning in the classroom
If humans had not collaborated with each other, the species would not have evolved as it has. The importance of teamwork, of collaborating, has become evident throughout history. To collaborate you need more than one, that is, the group is necessary, so the first thing to create in the classroom is a common goal. Group goals must be created, and it will be the teacher who dividesthe necessary tasks each group, and each member must assume.
In older ages, and with boys and girls accustomed to this type of collaborative learning, they will be the ones themselves who make this distribution. Groups should not always be from the same participants, but must interact all with each other, and ideally 5 people.
It is essential to promote safe and effective communication. That is, students have to feel comfortable expressing their ideas and opinions. For this you can develop a code of conduct among the members of the group, and respect for the other groups: tone and volume of voice, vocabulary used, word turn, how to request help…
Activities for the little ones
Enhancing collaborative learning is to enhance and share each one’s abilities and possibilities to learn . In this sense it is important to practice these collaborative skills with children from a young age. We propose a very suitable activity for primary and even children. They will do it almost automatically.
It’s about making tangram or puzzles collaboratively. The class will have to be divided into groups of 4 or 5 children, and each group has to complete the same number of puzzles, tangrams or puzzles as members. It is not about them making one among all, but that everyone has his own and receives the help and help others.
We give each member an envelope with most of the pieces in their puzzle, but also with one of the others. Boys and girls in the group cannot talk to each other (in this you can be flexible) and the important thing is that they are aware of the pieces that their peers need to complete their puzzles. Win the team that first assembles the puzzles of each of its members.
Typical collaborative learning activities
Some of the typical activities of collaborative learning are group projects, writing and collaborative reading of a book, a story or a subject subject, correcting the duties of another, groups of debates, making subject specialists, or study teams.
In addition, we point out other tools such as asking the partner, sharing the topic, and the notes that have been taken, or the simulated debate , in which each child takes a role in a debate on a topic, whether it is for or against will have to play the role they touch. You can see more details of these activities in this article.
One of the issues that is important to empower collaborative learning is learning to resolve conflicts. For this it is important that the teacher has already observed how students solve the tasks and know the style of each one within the group. Then you can raise the game of the wolf and the bridge. It is the famous riddle of the shepherd who has to cross the other bank of a river with a wolf, a goat and a lettuce. The idea is not so much to solve the riddle, but that boys and girls develop their ideas, be creative and learn to defend their views.