Week 3 – Creating Collaboration
Week 3 – How to Maximize Student Engagement
Jennifer Hoffman’s article Creating Collaboration states that “One of the current buzzwords in e-learning is collaboration.” Collaboration is not only key in online learning but the best traditional f2f models strive to incorporate collaborative exercises into the classroom as well. According to Rebeca Alber, in the article Deeper Learning: A Collaborative classroom is Key, “In preparing our students for college and careers, 21st century skills call on us to develop highly collaborative citizens — it’s one of the 4 Cs, after all.” Rebecca and Jennifer both agree that collaboration doesn’t just happen, and scaffolding as well as a supportive environment is needed to achieve effective collaboration. Online tools , such as discussion boards and email can be used to encourage collaboration and participant interaction.
Fundamentally, Hoffman explains, collaboration is used for 2 reasons; to achieve engagement and support learning goals. She also cautions us to not confuse collaboration with communication. True collaboration is much more difficult to achieve. It needs to be carefully directed by the facilitator but ultimately remain learner- centered. This then allows a more natural collaborative mindset to be integrated into our daily lives. Both online and f2f classrooms should strive to engage students with true collaborative experiences that will reinforce our ultimate goal of encouraging life-long learning.
Alber, R. (2012, December 31). Deeper Learning: A Collaborative Classroom Is Key. Edutopia. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
Hoffman, J. (2012, March 21). Creating Collaboration. WebJunction. Retrieved October 24, 2014.