Jan 25, 2008

Is learning in collaboration better?

My guts tell me : yes, but you have to prove these things. And there have been a lot of studies researching the effectiveness of collaborative learning, both from the perspective of outcome (for individuals and groups) as from the perspective of the process (for example impact on motivation, interaction). I'm not an academic, but here are some interesting bits:

- There are a lot that conclude it gives better results. Such as Gokhale (1995) who says that 'there is persuasive evidence that cooperative teams achieve at higher levels of thought and retain information longer'.

- Klemm (1994): Collaborative Learning can be used with some confidence at every age level, in every subject area, with any curriculum and with any task...

- Mohr and Nault (2004) share 8 critical success factors for collaborative learning to work:
- manage expectations
- create a common base of knowledge before the course starts (readings/exercises, refresh)
- make it extremely clear how and when participants will communicate
- demonstrate the technology at the outset and reinforce its use throughout the course
- make synchronous sessions highly interactive
- let students generate the data and examples used in the course
- include a collaborative project
- bring closure to the materials and provide a plan for the next steps

- ? says : Paradoxically, though seldom used in e-learning, cooperative learning works better online than it does in face-to-face classrooms. The reasons include: all students can find the time to do their share of the work ; thinking is more focused and clear because it is done in writing ; everybody is more accountable, and everyaone sees what everyone is doing.

1 comment:

Malola Prasath said...

Please Look into North Carolina State University's SCALE_UP Project, they reflect 300 times faster learning in Collaborative groups.

I have also tried to achieve similar results, for learning Chess in Collaborative groups: Look into CISCCON 2007 papers: in Rowan Group, University of Aberdeen Website.

I would not say Learning in collaborative groups is just better, it is towards optimised and stabilized learning...