Collaboration and group work

 

As discussed in our lecture about collaboration, making decisions together and working in groups gives better end results – the arithmetic average of all the guesses in the lecture hall about the number of liquorice candy in a jar is a lot closer than more than 90% of the individual ones. That is why cooperation is important – more opinions will be heard, bringing more diversity and urging students to seek compromises. Also, a written submission or a proposal by one person can trigger an idea in someone else’s head and they can then elaborate further on it, bringing more depth to the final result.

Blogging is one way of making students work together in groups. This guide to group blogging in WordPress is very useful and shows how to establish a blog of this kind. Blogger has the same function. People can have different roles, separated in hierarchy – the administrator is the blog owner, the authors can publish their posts in it and contributors can submit their writing to the administrator for review. If the teacher of the class assumes the highest rank, they can monitor the work process, seeing the amount and quality of work each member submits. That is why it is of benefit that in a blogging group work everyone participates and contributes to the overall achievement. By following the progress, an educator can fairly distribute marks between students.

Google Docs is also a good way of working in a group with classmates – documents are easily shareable, anyone can edit them. As well as blogging, people can contribute from their own houses and whenever it is suitable for them. The chat at the side allows for quick discussions of posted material.

Overall, collaboration skills are crucial in our society and digital media is making group work simpler for students – thus they are more easily learning to work as a team.

 

Sources:

http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/group-blogging-guide/

http://createyourownblog.wikispaces.com/Collaborative+Blogging

http://www.teachthought.com/learning/4-essential-rules-of-21st-century-learning/

 

Further reading:

http://www.faronics.com/en-uk/news/blog/collaborative-learning-in-a-digital-age/

https://chronicle.com/article/Collaborative-Learning-for-the/128789/

http://lisaneale.ca/creating-a-collaborative-learning-culture-in-the-digital-age/

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