Collaborative learning strategies can be a highly effective way to facilitate educational discussions while allowing for the clarification and evaluation of ideas.
And in the current era of remote and hybrid learning, collaboration is arguably more critical than ever before. Please continue to explore ten of the best strategies for collaborative learning that can boost the success of your classroom endeavors.
Let’s explore what collaborative learning is, as well as key strategies teachers can use to achieve the best results.
Collaborative learning is an overarching term that refers to various educational approaches that promote a joint intellectual effort by either groups of students or students and teachers working together. The collaborative efforts of these groups allow for a more effective search for understanding, meaning, and solutions to problems.
Scientific research has demonstrated that collaborative learning offers students a wide range of benefits and allows them to engage in a deeper, more meaningful level of education. Some of the primary benefits of collaborative learning strategies include;
There are many different collaborative learning strategies that educators can implement in the classroom. However, ten of the best and most effective methods include;
Having students review one another’s work can be a great way to ensure that everyone receives the benefits of individual feedback and attention, even if they’re working in larger groups. To ensure the most effective peer review, ensure you’re anonymously pairing the students together and always provide them with the correct tools needed for the job, including example reviews, assessment rubrics, and other guidelines on giving appropriate feedback.
Allowing students to break out into smaller discussion groups can be highly beneficial in ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard while supporting students who don’t feel comfortable talking in front of larger groups or the entire class. Small group discussions can also make larger classes feel more manageable, and assigning a moderator to facilitate discussions can also help students develop vital leadership skills.
Only the loudest, most confident voices tend to participate and be heard regularly in classroom discussions. However, classroom brainstorming sessions can help allow everyone to provide helpful new ideas, questions, and concepts to keep things moving forward. Brainwriting is an excellent strategy that encourages all students to generate input for a discussion.
Daily Discussion Questions
Daily discussion questions are a simple yet highly effective way to facilitate greater levels of student engagement. Use this collaborative learning method to help spark conversations and encourage everyone to think about class material in new ways. The goal is to promote divergent thinking and creative problem solving that gets students to ask new questions, analyze sources, offer opinions, and even create controversy.
The jigsaw technique offers students an innovative way to process and retain information more effectively by teaching others. The method involves asking each student to learn one piece of the material and then teach it to the rest of the group. Afterward, groups can synthesize the information and bring everything together.
The think-pair-share strategy encourages students to work together in pairs to evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information on a topic before sharing their findings with the rest of the class to boost their knowledge retention and promote quality classroom discussions. This tactic also ensures that everyone gets a chance to speak and participate.
For any collaborative strategies you use, ensure you’re creating groups with a mix of talents, backgrounds, ideas, learning styles, and experiences. Research indicates that this can help students learn more from one another and increase the achievement of more low-performing students.
Much like the benefits of ensuring group diversity, research has also shown that groups that are equally balanced in terms of gender tend to perform more effectively than non-balanced groups. This tactic can help eliminate gender biases in communication and help establish a norm of gender equality.
Use Real-World Problems
Educational experts suggest that utilizing real-world problems and open-ended questions to support project-based learning can be much more engaging than other types of classroom-based learning strategies. Problems based on real-world issues also facilitate a more effective scope for collaborative learning in a classroom setting than artificial scenarios.
Create Group Roles
Creating and assigning specific group roles can be a fantastic way to promote the development of responsibility and leadership skills within groups, especially for larger, more complex projects. It can also help facilitate more meaningful discussions that keep groups on track with their assignments. Remember to have students rotate their roles between projects, so everyone has a chance to gain new experiences.
Now that you have a list of quality collaborative learning strategies to utilize in your classroom, here are some helpful ideas that can ensure you’re making the most out of your chosen techniques;
Collaborative learning strategies are a powerful tool that educators can actively leverage to help promote student engagement and academic success within the classroom.
If you’re looking for new and effective ways to instruct your students better and provide them with the intellectual abilities, leadership skills, and social knowledge they’ll need going forward, consider implementing some of the above techniques into your regular classroom routines today.
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