3. • Promotes deeper levels of knowledge
• Promotes initiative, creativity and development of
critical thinking skills
• Promotes Co-creation of knowledge
• Promotes Reflection
4. • A sense of community must exist for collaboration to
• Collaborative learning means that a shared understanding of the
subject is necessary in order to work toward common learning goals.
• The most meaningful learning experiences can occur in productive
discussion, interaction between learners, and dialogue.
• In turn, these can provide learners with a sense of connectivity and
community, enhancing the collaborative learning experience.
• Teachers that are able to incorporate small group learning
experiences that are inviting, productive, and engaging will
encourage learners to repeat the collaborative learning experience
independently as well.
5. • All the people involved
• Shared purpose
Sharing information, experiences, interests, resources
Structure of the course, groundrules for participation and interaction
• Technology or Meeting Places
• Collaborative Learning
To reinforce and transform the learning
6. • Collaboration is arguably the most important 21st century
skill for learners.
• It is important because…
• helps learners to develop communication and social skills
• learners are able to gain experience in working with diverse groups of
• learners get practice in working toward common goals
7. • Collaboration is arguably the most important 21st century
skill for learners.
• It is important because…
• helps learners to gain insight to their own strengths and weaknesses
• learners are able to practice problem-solving and critical thinking at a
higher level with group members.
• collaborative learning simulates the learning strategies used in today’s
work forces and places of employment.
• learners are able to develop interpersonal working relationships as they
work toward accomplishing a common goal.
8. PLCs: The Good….The Bad….The Ugly!!
• The Good: PLC of Academic Coaches
Common goals but are willing to use different strategies
to reach those goals
Members have different strengths and weaknesses
Members use their individual strengths to contribute to the
Group shares ‘power’….no one person in ‘in charge’
9. Forming: when groups get to know one another
Norming: when groups figure out how to work together
Storming: Problem-solving where there will be disagreement and/or
Benefits of this stage:
Allows group members to see different viewpoints
Might result in a positive change in a behavior/strategy
Can strengthen an individuals knowledge if forced to defend an opinion
Develops a skills needed in ‘real world
Working through conflict
building consensus..give and take
Stronger group if worked through it
Performing: when groups work to complete the task
Adjourning: when groups end the work and disband or regroup for
10. PLCs: The Good….The Bad….The Ugly!!
• The Bad and The Ugly: PLC of Teachers and
Meets twice weekly
Common goals but goals were set by administrator (EOC
Focus of meetings is on failures/shortcomings rather
to reach goals
Members have little input on the agenda and/or direction
Power within the group lies primarily with administrator
11. Set the Stage
Preparation and Planning are essential. One must
bring to the class strategies to introduce the
content and the medium. Prepare an orientation
session to introduce the content and features of the
class, particularly the features of the medium. A
tutorial(s) will be handy in assisting students in
navigating the program.
Create the environment
Establishing Tone is essential. Tone is what the
instructor brings to the class to establish in the
students a particular “mood” in approaching the class.
Ideally the environment will be inviting, non-
threatening, open to exchange, perceived as fair, and
challenging. Start from Day 1 to create a sense of
community. Personalize the process with an
introduction that the students can model and then
execute on their own. Such an environment will allow
for the free flow of ideas and will minimize obstacles to
successful learning. An effective icebreaker should
open the class to these attributes of a successful
12. Model the process
When communicating with students use strategies that serve to simultaneously
instruct and display. One example is to use a personal introduction to at once
introduce yourself and to show students what sorts of information would be
appropriate in an introduction. Make students aware when you have modeled a
process so that they benefit from this strategy.
Guide the process
Stay engaged in the students ongoing work. This can be done for the group or
for an individual who might not understand the process or expectations. Always
be aware of tone when communicating with students. Facilitating student
progress and student learning should be the goal in guiding students through the
class. Be tactfully honest in the most non-threatening of manners. Such honesty
will serve as a model and will benefit all students.
Evaluate the process
• Create clear expectations, goals, and rubrics. Try to take as much subjectivity as
possible out of the evaluation process. Always refer to the expectations and
rubrics when assigning work. Respond promptly to questions, issues and
concerns about grades or the grading processes. Be firm with the class and with
each individual with respect to evaluation in order that fairness is foremost.
13. • As an instructor, I can ensure successful collaboration by..
• Using helpful collaboration tools in my online classroom (like wikis, blogs, small group projects).
• Preparing and scaffolding student learning with well-designed activities and
projects that REQUIRE collaboration between learners.
• Using smaller group projects with specific learning goals that encourage the building
of collaboration skills over time.
• Planning well for each stage of group work.
• Carefully explaining to the groups how the groups will operate, and how the grading
will be determined.
• Allowing students the opportunity to practice the collaboration skills that I hope to see
develop and improve over time (listening, constructive criticism, managing disagreements,
• Using learning group agreements, or other forms of learning contracts to increase the
level of investment made within the learning groups.