Learning is a process that ensures an individual get skills, knowledge, and experience to handle a given task now or in the future. There are many ways through which learning takes place, many trainers or tutors believe that learning independently is an intellectual method, but structuring learning in a manner that enables learners to respond to each other's ideas, design a product together, and even teach each other is indeed an effective teaching strategy. The latter form of learning is often referred to as collaborative learning.
Definition of Collaborative Learning
In its simplest definition, collaborative learning is an umbrella for a variety of educational strategies and approaches involving joint efforts by both teachers and learners. It is when two or more students learn something dissimilar together, and one of the simplest modes of this form of learning is the mutual study. It is arguably agreed that collaborative learning is helpful in project work, research projects, and other types of team-based activities. As earlier mentioned, with this type of learning, individuals get to know new things with the help of others, making it become one of the latest modes of teaching around the world.
While many people used to offline collaborative learning, these days, online collaborative learning is incredibly common online education tools such ezTalks Meetings provide a seamless platform. There are many other types of collaborative learning, and here below are some of the most common:
6 Major Types of Collaborative Learning
Think-pair-share is one of the most common types of collaborating learning. It is a low-effort, low-stakes strategy for abbreviated collaboration and active learning. In this kind of learning, learners are required to work independently, share their ideas with others, consider peer responses, and ultimately engage in discussions in a manner that starts to synthesize an exchange. The above requires that learners act rather than listening passively, and this explains why teachers would often call an individual at random to share their ideas.
2,Informal collaborative learning groups
Another type of collaborative learning that is based on how learners are organized in a learning environment is the informal learning groups. As the name suggests, this is the case where a class is broken down into small fragments and assigned a group project to handle. This type of approach leads to spending less time for lecture and fundamentally improves the amount of material retained by students.
3,Formal collaborative learning groups
Again, this type of learning is based on how learners organize themselves in a learning environment, and it forms the greatest routine practices of collaborative learning. With formal learning groups, learners are assembled into specific groups, and they are required to stay together for many weeks or months working on an extensive project(s). By and large, this type of collaborative learning is where students study and apply comfortably the various approaches of working together.
Also known as PBL, Problem-based learning is another type of collaborative learning where a particular problem is introduced for learners to solve, often in groups, over a given period. It is required that students ultimately understand the problem at hand before proposing a solution or response. PBL starts to approximate the kind of work students do as well as the way they need to approach the problem in their daily lives.
5,Collaborative base groups
Collaborative base organizations are stable, long-term groups that have been formed to last for at least a year. The teams are made up of learners with distinct attitudes and perspectives. The above type of collaborative learning provides a platform where students support each other in matters related to academics and other spheres of life. Each member is required to finish the assigned task and contribute ideas towards a given project. In most cases, students meet periodically to check on their academic progress as well as to develop healthy cognitive and social habits.
6,Jigsaw collaborative learning
As the name suggests, the above learning type makes use of jigsaw strategies to break down learning problem into small parts to be handled by several groups within a given learning environment. Each group is expected to report back beside contributing ideas in a bid to finding solutions to the problem at hand. The learning type is suitable when dealing with a large project(s).
While collaborative learning is not common and prevalent in many institutions, it helps to satisfy many goals when planned carefully. It helps learners to become constructively and actively involved in coursework topics, to feel responsible for the studying, and to improve the spirit of teamwork among the participants. The program supports several learning styles by typically adopting a heterogeneous strategy where some learners write, others discuss, some edit, listen, and even synthesize and so on. In a nutshell, the various types of collaborative learning explained above reminds learners that learning requires more than just listening, but it entails other aspects of the collaborative environment.