In a typical classroom scenario, you must have seen a teacher working alone with a group of students. You may also have witnessed one-way communication between teachers and students. However, this is not an effective teaching technique. To provide the best educational experience to students, teachers must focus on improving collaboration. A collaborative educational environment is not only beneficial for students, but it is equally efficient for teachers. Here are a few benefits of focusing on student collaboration in the classroom.
Benefits of student collaboration
Leads to creativity
It comes as no surprise that teamwork shows better results than individual work. When multiple brains work together, the chances of getting better results are high. A true brainstorming session is impossible without collaboration. It helps an individual focus on ideas that seemed bizarre at first. Increased student collaboration brings out the best work and helps them enhance their creativity.
Helps in self-discovery
When an individual shares their views and ideas with others, they are exposed to new learnings. Others may also suggest methods to improve the ideas to reap maximum benefits. In addition, learning and working with others helps individuals explore themselves. Therefore, teachers should encourage collaboration in the classroom to help students proceed on the path to self-discovery.
Improves students’ learning
Learning with others gives the opportunity to grow. Enhanced collaboration in the classroom can help in developing higher-level thinking skills. In addition, it also shows a positive impact on students' confidence and self-esteem. Teachers can plan different activities to improve collaboration. They can form groups to conduct fun activities and bring students closer.
When students work with their peers, it improves their leadership and interpersonal skills. Moreover, it helps them expand their territory as a learner.
Tips to deepen student collaboration in the classroom
Promoting real collaboration in the classroom is easier said than done. It does not happen on its own. To make student collaboration a part of their learning, teachers can take help from the strategies mentioned below.
Create complex learning activities
Challenge students to give their best to the assigned task. Moreover, teachers should assign tasks that require group efforts. If the assignment is simple, students may not need the help of their peers. One of the ways to improve collaboration is to provide students with rigorous tasks that require research, discussion, debate, and time. Teachers can provide challenging and multilayered assignments to students.
Help students become part of a team
Assigning a collaborative group is challenging. After getting included in a team, students need to learn the ways of working with others. To make students understand the importance of group work, teachers can make them realize the importance of teamwork and how it can benefit them. Moreover, they can guide students through different stages of team building.
Other measures that teachers can take to make students understand the importance of collaboration are:
- Give students time and opportunities to develop a bond with other team members. It will also help them work on their interpersonal and time management skills.
- Teach students the ability to actively listen to others.
- Design conflict handling strategies to improve collaboration among students.
Minimize opportunities for free riding
Many times, group activities also give a few students the opportunity to become free riders. To eliminate free riders, teachers can follow the points mentioned below.
- Create small groups to engage students. It will make every student put in an equal effort in the activities.
- Assess student performance both individually and as a group.
- Help students assess their performance and also the performance of their peers.
- Assign a particular role to each student.
Provide discussion opportunities
The success of group work depends on the hard work put in by different team members. Therefore, ensuring that students are discussing their ideas with each other is vital. Teachers should provide discussion opportunities to students to deepen their understanding.
Strengthen and stretch expertise
Another benefit of collaborative education is that it strengthens the existing skills of students and adds to their knowledge base. The aim is to help students develop their physical and intellectual space.
Collaborative education is about enriching students with experiences they have not gained before. In groups, students are expected to do more and learn more. When they are fueled by the power of knowledge, the effects are visible in their overall personality.
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