Search results: 69

Pedagogically, I think it's important to think about collaboration as end vs. means. Do learning outcomes specifically mention acquiring skills and knowledge to help students be able to more effectively collaborate? Or, is collaboration a means to more content-/subject- oriented learning outcomes? Or, perhaps, both are in play.

Either way, I think collaboration-oriented pedagogies recognize the importance of not assuming students already understand what it means to collaborate, and what quality collaboration looks/feels like.

As several have already mentioned, true collaboration is not simply throwing students together on a project that could have been done by students independently. Unfortunately, I think that is how most students think of "group projects."

Therefore, projects need sufficient expectations, structure, and scaffolding, to make it clear to students that they are interdependent.

Two articles I particularly like on this subject are:
Pedagogies of engagement: classroom-based practices
KA Smith, SD Sheppard, DW Johnson, RT Johnson - Journal of Engineering Education, Jan 2005

Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams
B Oakley, RM Felder, R Brent, I Elhajj - Journal of Student Centered Learning, V2 No1 2004
Originally, I'd intended to look at this seminar from the point of view of starting with the tools, then moving through how we've used them with other colleagues (mostly because I feel very uncomfortable getting students to use tools that I don't feel happy using myself for similar purposes) through in the final week to looking at issues of using them with students.
Peter's suggested, though, that we start by looking at the pedagogy, then move towards the tools; on the grounds that it's better than the pedagogy drives the tool choice than anything else ...

Would anyone like to kick this off?

Therese Weel wrote,

Other tools may be better but the if the rest of the gang's not there. What good is it?

A very good point; and, the other aspect of that is how, as a group, do you make the choice? First to initiate it? Person with the loudest voice? Person who's the most persuasive? The most interoperable tool, so that as many as possible can use their favourite client etc., ?

(And just remembered how the quote feature works ... you have to select what you want to quote - not just click quote & assume you'll get the whole message)

Deirdre Bonnycastle wrote,

PS I had the wrong person it was Janet Salmon not Gilly who did the session in SCoPE as Sylvia kindly reminded us.

Deirdre, actually Gilly Salmon did facilitate a SCoPE seminar where she shared her 5-stage model for e-learning. Janet Salmons facilitated the seminar on online collaboration. She probably also referred to Gilly's resource!

Janet Salmons facilitated a SCoPE seminar in 2007 called Collaborate Online. She defined collaboration as "an interactive process that engages two or more participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently."

I like that concise definition. approve

I once had an instructor in an undergraduate course who wrote a paper about the projects we completed during the course. I wish I could find it just now! (And don't you wish more instructors would share papers like that with their students!) In any case, she looked at the processes at the various stages of the project groups using a framework of:
  • collaboration
  • cooperation
  • communication
Although we produced some interesting projects the instructor concluded that there really wasn't much evidence of collaboration, but clear examples of cooperation and communication. In most cases the group members simply divvied up the workload then pieced it all together.

But in that example the focus is mostly on the individuals and how they are each contributing to a final product. It seems there should be more of a focus on the actual interactions.

Dave Pollard (first blog I ever subscribed to!) created a really useful table in 2005 to distinguish among
  • collaboration
  • cooperation, and
  • coordination
And more in his post, also from 2005: "virtual collaboration". Notice that he suggests social networking tools are best suited for finding collaborators and that "most actual collaboration is done using other tools and media".
Hi folks,

I am the eLearning Coordinator with the UNBC Centre for Teaching, Learning, & Technology and am looking forward to the discourse and Wave practice over the next 2 weeks. I have been using it to collaborate with small groups for meeting agendas and have used it with a computer science class in group note-taking exercises, but have yet to discover how it can be used as an intuitive tool to easily facilitate collaboration. In my computer science classes I used Etherpad ( ) to great effect ( which was subsequently bought by Google to be incorporated into Wave ).