Collaborative Learning

Then main purpose of this study is to find out the effectiveness of collaborative learning. The study was planned in a manner that students are to be grouped into ten people per group. It is supposed to take place within a single lesson period. The study is meant to check on the students’ understanding and identification of the key elements and principles of collaborative learning. Their skills in applying them will also be tested where they will be required to take part in constructive discussions where they will use the think-pair-share and three step interview methods to interact with their colleagues. The students are expected to know the principle concepts involved, practically apply the acquired skills in class, understand between the different collaborative activities and be able to understand why it is important to collaborate. There is an assumption that there are those e students who are might be familiar with the collaborative learning methods but still unable to apply the fully. Materials will be provided in the form of personal computers internet. Sheets, papers and pens will also be provided to help students note down their points.

Collaborative learning is a system or situation whereby two or more individuals undertake to study something together. It constitutes acts and scenarios that engage people in a common activity where they become wholly or partially dependent on one another. It is based on the notion or assumption that knowledge can be created within a group of individuals who come together and constructively interact through sharing of their ideas. The individuals involved in any collaborative learning activity tend to have an added advantage as they rely on each other’s available resources and unique skill that otherwise not all of them would be possessing as a person. The interaction can either be in the form of face to face interaction or online discussions through electronic media. Collaborative learning can be tested through the use of conversation analysis variables. The Zone of Proximal Development theory was developed by Vygotsky in an attempt the study the nature of collaborative learning. The theory advances the argument that there exists an inborn social nature in all human beings who learn together and that people undertake to study together in their pursuit of a deeper understanding of issues, find meaning to specific facts deduce solution to certain problems. Either, they do undertake collaborative learning when they want to create new ideas or artifacts.

Collaborative learning can be categorized into three main groups depending on the mode and medium through which it is carried out. The three major categories of collaborative learning are Collaborative Network Learning that involves the usage of electronic media to interact. It can be in the form of telephone conversations or electronic mail. There must be a leader who facilitates interactions. Computer Support Collaborative Learning is another example. It is a bit new and is used to support interactions between people. It regulates, controls and monitors activities by individual members and allows for new knowledge to be accessed. The Learning Management System involves a system of tools put together and used by learners to assist their fellow members within a group or be assisted. It involves the use of virtual classes, video conferencing, and flow chart or discussion threads.

There are benefits attributed to collaborative learning. It is used to develop resources that can be used to improve and encourage other people to learn more. It makes technical ideas appear simple as they are analyzed from different perspectives to solutions found. It also encourages quality learning and helps learners evaluate the ideas and proposals of their fellow members. This ensures that they monitor their work appropriately so s as to make it be of higher quality

The research findings demonstrated that the students were able to identify the necessary skills that were required during collaborative learning. They were able to show reflect the acquired skills through application in the course of the study. The research found out that there were some students who were familiar with the collaborative learning as they had practiced it elsewhere. Either, the students who were familiar with collaborative writing were still not able to employ their acquired skills from the start and had to be tutored and guided just like the other students.  The use of technological equipments like the internet and computer systems proved to be relatively easier as most students appeared to be technologically savvy hence didn’t find much difficulty in using them. The information that was needed from the internet was obtained without much difficulty. The research also found out that the students were able to develop new and appropriate communication methods due to the high level of interaction that existed between them.

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