“Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much.” These words by Helen Keller are still seem so relevant after more than 60 years. When it comes to learning at school, there’s no better way to learn than learning together and growing together.
Collaborative learning is a method of teaching and learning where students work together to find answers to a particular question or create meaningful projects.
Steps towards collaborative learning: –
Before your school garners the benefits of collaborative learning, there are some steps required as to prepare the students, classrooms and the school.
Preparing the classroom:
One of the foremost steps is to create classrooms that facilitate group work and team collaboration. The design of the classrooms should be such, which allows easy transition from traditional to collaborative form of learning.
In the present times, technology is the key enabler in a collaborative form of learning. Electronic devices such as touch screen flat panels, tablets, and laptops enable students and teachers to connect with themselves easily.
We do realize that the expenses on technology may seem insurmountable at times. In such cases, the Bring your own device (BYOD) could be adopted. Such policies help to keep the finances of school in budget, and students take care of the devices better.
Preparing the students:
Just asking your students to work together won’t help. Establishing group norms would be essential, such as asking to be polite and listening to each-others’ opinions.
You can start with small groups, especially if your class hasn’t worked collaboratively before. It is ideal to start with groups of two or three, but it is essential to see if the students are able to interact effectively and productively in the group.
Preparing the school:
Collaborative learning is not only meant for students but also for teachers to work together. When teachers themselves are prepared to use it, it becomes easier to adopt the approach with students.
Traditional individualistic ideas and lack of confidence are two major reasons that are a deterrent to collaborative form of learning. This may be the result of negative experience with such ideas in the past, or they might feel they are already doing enough to collaborate. Such barriers can be surmounted by working collaboratively as a team or a department.
Khaitan Public School, Sahibabad, which is one of the top 10 schools in Ghaziabad, has believed in the collaborated form of learning. It uses modern technology alongside knowledgeable and sensitive academicians to make learning environment at KPS, a truly collaborative one.