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Collaboration in the Online Classroom

Collaboration in the Online Classroom. Collaboration: to work jointly with others especially in an intellectual endeavor. Why Collaborate?. Promotes deeper levels of knowledge Promotes initiative, creativity, and development of critical thinking skills Promotes co-creation of knowledge

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Collaboration in the Online Classroom

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  1. Collaboration in the Online Classroom Collaboration: to work jointly with others especially in an intellectual endeavor

  2. Why Collaborate? • Promotes deeper levels of knowledge • Promotes initiative, creativity, and development of critical thinking skills • Promotes co-creation of knowledge • Promotes Reflection • Allows the students to share their knowledge and become “experts” on their content • Promotes open discussion • Allows you to learn about your classmates

  3. Building Community A sense of community must exist for collaboration to occur. • UNITE: Start with a unifying purpose. • SET GOALS: Set goals and objectives for each member…Goals are where you want to go. Objectives are how you are going to get there. • ROLES: Assign roles Ex: Leadership,Someone needs to be responsible for facilitating, moderating, and managing the project or assignment.   • COORDINATE: Stay Organized. Consider logistical needs of others. Be flexible. • KEEP UP: Create, maintain, and update simple and practical tasks. • CONNECT: Be Open-minded. Share Ownership. Empower others. Share Leadership. • COMMUNICATE: Really listen to all group members. • MOTIVATE: Motivate and Celebrate Success. Take responsibility and give credit. • MOVE FORWARD: Let go of anything that happened in the past, forgive other’s mistakes and show gratitude. • BE CONSISTENT: Maintain Continuity, Consistency, and Dependability …don’t be the weak link. • EVALUATE: Consider feedback and make adjustments in the future.

  4. Elements of Community • All the people involved: • SHARED PURPOSE: Sharing information, experiences, interests, resources • GUIDELINES: Structure of the course, ground rules for participation and interaction • TECHNOLOGY OR MEETING PLACE • COLLABORATIVE LEARNING: Student-to-student interaction • REFLECTION: To reinforce and transform the learning

  5. Why Do People Need to Learn to Work Together? • Collaboration… • Prepares students for real-life scenarios where people often work in teams to accomplish goals and solve problems. • Helps students develop their interpersonal communication skills. • Provides students opportunities to develop their leadership skills. • Requires students to consider multiple viewpoints. • Often requires students to articulate and defend a position. • Develops students’ ability to manage conflict. • Engages different types of learners who can each learn from the other. • Creates an atmosphere that fosters further communication among students in the course.

  6. What Goes Wrong? • Why some groups don’t work. • Uncertainty • Students will need guidance with collaboration. • Lack of focus and direction among students if the instructions are not clearly outlined and the activity is not facilitated well. • Logistical Challenges • Synchronous activities can be difficult to coordinate because of conflicts in timing. • Personality Conflicts • There may be a lack of personal accountability. • It can be frustrating to work asynchronously with unmotivated group members. • “Hitchhikers” in the group who are along for the ride and are happy to leave the work to others. • “Hijackers” in the group want to take over the project themselves. These types of students can completely dominate. • Personal Choice • Students may feel that they have a lack of choice in the determination of groups, group size, or product.

  7. When Groups Work and Don’t Work Example of a BAD group experience: “I'm sad to say that is was during a LEARN NC online class . The group was assigned a collaborative project with a collective assignment due at the end. Two participants of the five member group completely took over(Personality Conflict). They wanted to finish the entire project over a weekend and were frustrated when those of us who don't work on Sundays would not participate (Logistical Challenges). The experience would have been much more pleasant and effective if there were some type of contract established at the beginning(Uncertainty). The instructor probably should have required a learner agreement to ensure that we were all okay with the specific times we wanted to meet and total time we wanted to invest.”

  8. When Groups Work and Don’t Work Example of a GOOD group experience: “My best experience involved creating some piece of work that proved my group's gained knowledge over that day's content. In my opinion, this was a good experience for a couple of reasons: first, we were given multiple creative outlets to choose from (Choice) in order to prove our knowledge; secondly, the group of teachers I worked with were all open to hearing everyone's ideas (No personality conflict) and incorporating them into our final product; and lastly, we had a clear understanding of what was expected of us (No Uncertainty) and the time frame we were given to make our final product (Logistics).”

  9. Stages of Group Development • Forming: when groups get to know one another:Ideally group work includes some type of ice-breaker or opportunity for group members to get to know each other prior to the assignment • Norming: when groups figure out how to work together: The group has been provided with clear expectations and/or a learning agreement prior to the assignment. • Storming: Problem-solving where there will be disagreement and/or conflict: Group work should consist both of brainstorming (where there is no judgment, simply ideas) and also a time for editing and refinement . During this period there naturally will be disagreement. This phase is important for learning to occur and for members to learn how to offer constructive criticism. • Performing: when groups work to complete the task:Completing the assignment can be divided up once conflicts are resolved and compromises are reached. It is especially important during this phase to “let go” and allow each member to finish their portion. This is not the time to “micro-manage” the entire project. • Adjourning: when groups end the work and disband or regroup for other tasks: Closure can sometimes be the most difficult part of group work. As long as adjourning is clearly defined in the learning agreement, closure should become a natural phase of group work

  10. What Will I Do as your Instructor? Set the Stage • Facilitate learning with less control. • Provide instructional and technical support. • Introduce myself by including pictures and personal information in my profile and encourage students to do the same Create the environment • Require student participation. • Ensure and measure student achievement. • Require student evaluations. • Keep students active in learning. • Align assessments with course curriculum. Model the process • Participate frequently in both teacher and student generated forums • Provide a variety of assignments for different learning styles. • Use “spiral learning” by revisiting and expanding assignments. • Stay motivated, it’s contagious. • Stay committed to your class. • Remain in check with a positive attitude and positive undertones in all communication. • Teach material from approved curriculum in accordance with assigned course schedule. Guide the process • Communicate with students by email and telephone as needed. • Openly communicating with student-related problems and concerns. • Motivate students to actively participate in all aspects of the educational process, including but not limited to threaded class discussions, outside assignments/projects, research, enrichment activities, etc. • Evaluate the process • Provide regular, accurate, and timely student-specific assistance, feedback and support to students relative to their performance • Keep archives of student work and correspondence (if necessary), and maintaining and reporting student participation, evaluations/grades as appropriate.

  11. Successful Collaboration • Web Tools for Collaboration • Dabbleboard : Like using a white board, but online to work in groups. You can reuse previously-made drawings with drag-and-drop simplicity, allows sharing and real-time • collaboration with anyone anywhere in the world. • GROU.PS : Free resource where you can create your forum, mailing list, share documents, files and your agenda to organize events, have your own YouTube, share links, bookmarks, photos. • GroupTweet: Allows you to  create your Twitter account into a group communication tool where everyone in the group uses direct messages. • Imagination cubed :Multi user drawing tool. You can use a pen, stamps, shapes, lines, or type. • CoSketch : Multi-user online whiteboard designed to give you the ability to quickly visualize and share your ideas as images. Another whiteboard drawing tool that is super easy and user friendly. • Wiggio : Online toolkit that lets you work in groups easily. You can send emails, text messages, voice mails. It makes it easy to share files and real time polls. You can set video conferences and also keep shared calendar, keep track of group’s tasks and resources • MeBeam: Place where you can create your chat room. You just type the name of the room and tell the people to meet you there.

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