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Involving learners in collaborative activities

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The Cloudworks Team
17 April 2008

Get learners to participate in collaborative groupwork by setting a clear task, requiring multiple abilities and more work than anyone can do alone.

 

Collaborative learning activities have the problem that learners may be inexperienced in group working and may be reluctant to participate. The Learning@Europe project motivated learners by giving them a clear task and a common goal: eg winning a quiz against another team, or creating a shared product such as a chronicle of historical events. To encourage learners to divide the work and collaborate, the tasks required multiple abilities: eg the online quiz demanded knowledge of diverse cultural areas plus hand-eye coordination to move in a 3D virtual world; the shared products demanded more work than one person could do and benefitted from multiple interpretations and perspectives. See pp. 11-12, ‘Fostering collaboration’; pp. 21-23, ‘Collaborative tasks that involve ALL members of the group’. [Franca Garzotto, Caterina Poggi]

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