Promoting Student Collaboration
To increase the degree to which students collaborate with one another to promote learning course content.
Benefits of Addressing
Considerable research indicates that when students collaborate with one another they...
- Engage in more discussion, problem solving, and critical thinking.
- Learn the subject matter more completely.
- Have a more positive classroom experience.
- Develop higher levels of interest in the subject matter being studied.
- Retain information longer than students working individually.
- Become more competent and confident public speakers.
Methods of Collaboration
|Classroom Performance System (CPS) (i.e. "clickers")||Encourage students to form groups, discuss solutions, and determine a collective answer using CPS. CPS may also be used for starting conversations about controversial material that may otherwise be difficult to start a conversation about.
|Videoconferencing and Webconferencing||Videoconferencing
and Webconferencing can connect a diverse range of people across great distances, bringing new groups with new perspectives into classroom conversations.
WPI has a TV studio which may be reserved for videoconferences, as well as several portable videoconferencing units for use around campus.
Interwise iMeeting is WPI's webconferencing software. It can be used by any member of the WPI community for academic purposes.
|Discussion Boards||Discussion boards are by their very nature collaborative tools, offering students the chance to read the full range of perspectives about a topic. Traditional classroom discussion is usually limited to a few students who are comfortable speaking up in class. Discussion boards are a non-threatening and reflective way to hear everyone’s voice and opinion on a topic.
myWPI provides a convenient discussion board tool for use in your class.
Considerable research has been conducted on the use of discussion boards. For more information, and to read about some of the best practices of their use, visit the following pages:
A wiki is a website where multiple individuals add and edit content
collectively. Multiple related pages may be linked within the site.
Wikis can be used in teaching for:
Benefits of wikis for students include:
myWPI has a wiki tool that can be linked to any course site.
|Chat (Instant Messaging)||Chat services make it possible for students to communicate with one another in real-time using text and emoticons, or simple graphical faces that represent emotions.
Chat services make collaboration possible over great distances – all that is needed is an Internet connection. Most chat services also provide some means for sharing pictures and files, and some have integrated a shared whiteboard feature.
If students have webcams, they may also be able to share real-time video for collaboration purposes.
|Web Conferencing||Web conferencing tools such as Interwise, available here at WPI, facilitate real-time collaboration much the same as chat services, but with a more extensive and rich array of features including application sharing.
The application sharing feature enables a user to display their computer screen, including websites, PowerPoint slides, and other software applications, to other users across great distances.
|myWPI Groups||myWPI has a feature that enables students to work in private groups with their own discussion boards and file sharing space. In addition to providing group members with an online space to work on projects, such collaborative spaces also enable group members to develop closer knit relationships than would be possible if groups only met during class meetings.
|Digital Video||The ATC loans digital video cameras for the shooting and production of digital movies and the Movie Lab has a variety of editing tools. Such projects usually make use of the group’s variety of strengths and rely heavily upon advanced planning and discussion.|
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Last modified: May 07, 2008, 14:06 EDT