The ideal collaboration between students–what would it look like?
Not this!! I love having students collaborate on assignments, projects, and other classroom activities. I have had many questions like, “can we work together on this?”. My answer is always yes (unless its an assessment, then its sometimes yes)! However, its sometimes a challenge to define “work together”. There are three things I say equal good collaboration:
1. All students are involved. No-one is a by-stander, just allowing the others to complete the work and copying answers.
2. All ideas are valuable. Everyone in the group has the opportunity to share their ideas and have them heard.
3. Communication is essential and multi-faceted. There is not just one way that students communicate, so we should not limit them to just one.
Although these seem to be three things that should always be present in a classroom, everyone that has ever done a group project in a class knows that they are not always true!
As a teacher, we have to teach our students how to do this. It isn’t natural for them, and many have been conditioned to play their role and never strive to change that. It has to be a conscious effort to work to change the pre-set ideas of students about group work and collaboration.