Collaborative work in education: An innovative pedagogical approach

Collaborative work in education: An innovative pedagogical approach

enseignement collaboratif
Posted by Benjamin Hermitte, on Wednesday 27 March 2024

Many teachers are looking for innovative solutions to encourage their students’ participation. One of these solutions is the use of specific tools for collaborative work. It promotes teamwork, which helps students develop important skills. To demonstrate the value of a collaborative platform in education, we will look at the benefits, methods, and tools for implementing collaborative work in the classroom in this article.

The benefits of collaborative work in education

For classroom work, a collaborative platform is an excellent tool. Each student will be able to exchange information, feelings, and assist others in problem solving. This novel approach to education aids in the development of critical technical and social skills.

Developing social and emotional skills

To begin, working collaboratively is ideal for honing specific skills. These will be beneficial to students not only in school, but also in their personal and future professional lives.

These include communication, empathy, and better conflict management. By being confronted with ideas and seeking compromises, students develop strong social and emotional skills.

Active learning and student engagement

Setting up an online collaborative workspace and providing pupils with collaborative working tools increases their engagement. Pupils will be more involved because they appreciate and master digital technologies.

They become an enabler of active learning in class rather than a distraction. Some students prefer to participate and share knowledge online rather than in person.

Students will be more focused on the lesson and they can message their peers via instant messaging tools or add comments via a virtual whiteboard, which will help to improve understanding of concepts.

Preparation for working life

Adopting collaborative tools involves preparing your students for the reality of employment. No company today can survive without digital solutions, let alone tools based on collective intelligence.

Students’ collective work strengthens skills that are highly sought after by recruiters. This is true for team spirit, adaptability to the unexpected, and project management knowledge.

What methods and strategies should be put in place?

Of course, before deploying such tools for communication and collaboration, an appropriate strategy must be in place. You must also determine the methods you will employ to achieve your learning objectives.

Teaching techniques

There are three complementary teaching techniques that are perfectly suited to collaborative working.

Project-based learning

Give your students the chance to collaborate on relevant and realistic tasks, just like in a business. They must be successful in achieving their own objectives and sharing in order to be successful. Your job is to lead them and encourage teamwork.

Problem-based learning

Another strategy is to present them with a challenging issue. They have the chance to work on the issue together, which is the subtlety in this situation. They can work together, develop their critical thinking, and be innovative by using this exercise.

Cooperative teaching

Finally, you have the option of forming several small groups. The students must work together to achieve common goals. Each member of each group is responsible for his or her own learning as well as the learning of the other members. This innovative approach encourages mutual support and positive interdependence.

Allocation of roles and tasks

Assigning clear roles allows for effective collaboration. Within your group of students, you should clearly allocate roles and responsibilities.

Three roles are particularly important:

  • Group leader: This student will set the objectives, coordinate the other students and ensure that the team stays on track.
  • Scribe: His/her role is to take notes and document the exchanges and decisions made. He/she will facilitate exchanges between students.
  • Resource coordinator: Finally, this student will have the task of searching and managing the necessary resources. This may involve information, materials or even expertise.

Assessment and monitoring of pupils

Of course, even if the approach is playful, collaborative work must be skilful and assessable. Fortunately, there are appropriate ways to do this.

Formative assessment

This form of evaluation takes place throughout the project. The idea is to identify areas for improvement and to provide each student with constructive recommendations. You can use logbooks, individual interviews, or group meetings to assess the students. Note that once again, one of the aims is to get closer to the reality of the labour market.

Summative evaluation

In contrast, this evaluation comes at the end of the project. You can take stock and measure the learning outcomes on your own or with the help of the pupils. Determine which objectives have been achieved and how to do better next time. This type of evaluation can include presentations or written reports as well as final projects.

Feedback from other students

A very interesting approach is to give students the opportunity to judge themselves. They can then evaluate each other and share their impressions of the collaborative work. They will then be more autonomous in the evaluation process. This is important if you want to improve their thinking and teamwork skills.

What tools should be used for teamwork?

The ideal way to deploy such a pedagogical approach is to use collaborative platforms. These include all the features you might need, such as instant messaging, file and document sharing, creation of thematic channels, task tracking, etc.

Your students will be able to work on a document as a team as well as carry out brainstorming sessions. Moreover, if necessary, it will be very easy to switch to remote work with your students.

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