Collaboration in the classroom makes the learning experience better for students. It allows them to improve their critical thinking skills. They can question theories and gain a deeper understanding of different phenomena.
Collaborative learning goes a long way in boosting an individual’s confidence. It creates an environment where everyone can share their ideas freely. Collaborations allow students to access a wealth of knowledge as they learn from each other and through each other.
Many people find collaborative classrooms interesting, which improves their focus and retention. Here are some of the ways you as an educator can encourage collaboration in schools.
Accord Complex Tasks to Groups
You can enhance collaboration among your students by allowing them to tackle problems together. You will prompt the learners to approach other complex subjects in the same manner and make them less frustrating.
When working together, students realize that they are having the same difficulties, and anxiety reduces. Besides, it clears their minds, letting them think critically and solve problems even faster.
Assignments also create opportunities for collaboration because students have control over how to go about them. Apart from completing the tasks on their own, they can decide to collaborate externally. For instance, by searching “do my term paper,” they can get expert help with their assignments.
Students can work with peers outside the school to accomplish set tasks. This instills a cooperative spirit in them. Therefore, they will embrace the idea of seeking support from their friends, parents, and even teachers.
Eliminate the Possibility for Freeloading
If learners could be honest, they would plead guilty to freeloading in most group assignments. If students are presented with the opportunity, they will certainly take it, and it will be counterproductive. The whole idea of group work in promoting collaboration.
You can prevent individuals from riding on others’ efforts and not participating by creating moderate-sized groups. It is preferable if they comprise four to five members. This way, every member’s input will be required, and freeloading will become impossible.
Another approach you can take is assessing the students individually. For instance, if a group has to deliver a presentation in front of the class, ensure that every student in the team does something. This will encourage participation and ensure collaboration.
Some educators assign the learners roles as they delegate the group work. This creates accountability and prevents inactivity.
Indulge Learners in Challenging Activities
In this case, you will not even have to create groups. Students will be proactive and will extend support to each other. When given simple tasks, they often do the work alone without seeking the input of their peers.
As much as they may get brilliant scores when they work unassisted, they still miss out on a lot. For instance, they lose an opportunity to challenge their minds to think critically. Also, they are deprived of a chance to learn from each other.
Challenging tasks will automatically create a positive sense of interdependence. Some of the activities may include debates, experiments, and research.
Emphasize the Importance of Collaboration
Sometimes, all it takes is an excellent talk helping students understand how vital partnership in the classroom is. Teach them how they can collaborate and why they need to do it. Also, you might demonstrate the ways of working effectively in teams.
With such insights, learners will not even need to be directed to cooperate in groups. They will form teams themselves and even request more complex assignments because they will be capable of handling them.
You can leverage technological tools to enhance collaboration in the classroom. For instance, Google Docs promotes a wide range of related activities.
The tool allows easy sharing of files and documents. Moreover, it enables real-time editing so that all team members can work on the same task. Collaboration through such tools is practical, effortless, and time-efficient.
You can also encourage students to use video conferencing applications to hold discussions when doing assignments from home. These tools eliminate the barrier of distance in collaboration. People can organize debates and complete group assignments from wherever they are.
Learners are curious and love progressive technology. They embrace these tools and will be excited to use them.
Collaboration in the classroom does not always occur automatically. Students need guidance and reminders on why it is essential. As an educator, you should create situations where collaboration is necessary.
Give group assignments, deliberately choose complex tasks for the learners, and ensure that they participate during the lesson. Integrate digital collaboration tools in teaching, and you will boost the students’ interest in using them.
With the ideas above, you will instill the spirit of teamwork and give students a wholesome learning experience.