As psychologists and behavioral experts discover more about the various learning modalities and "how students learn," more and more schools are starting to use collaborative learning platforms as a part of their day-to-day classroom routine.
A well-organized collaborative learning process allows students to work together, using each other’s' strengths to overcome collective weaknesses. Ideally, students are then able to take ownership of their learning experience and being teaching one another. But there’s a fine line between successful learning groups and classroom-wide chaos. We believe that creating an effective, collaborative learning environment takes planning, so here are 5 tips to help you keep the chaos at bay!
5 Tips to Make Your Collaborative Learning Plans Effective
Ideally, desks should be set up in clusters so students have a "real" place to sit, are facing each other, and can easily communicate. You will also be able to tell which groups are on track and which aren't. If you can get your hand on round or oval tables, those work too.
Use these opportunities for students to work on discussion, analysis, process, and/or correlation skills—activities where they learn to develop deeper thinking/learning skills without attachment to the outcome.
Once you get your collaborative learning groups off and running, they will become a regularly requested element of your classroom design.