Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Collaborative Learning

        Individuality encompasses a person’s notion of district character.  Collaboration embodies the concept of learning communities.  Simeons (2008) explicates the effectiveness of collaborative learning and why brilliant geniuses fail to embrace the concept of collaborative learning.  Collaborative learning provides individuals with a specific task while participating in a group activity.  Thus, when designing learning communities, an instructor must create a mixture of individuality and community-based environment (Simeon, 2008).  Realizing that K-12 traditional education and higher education have various students’ academic performance levels, distance education also has several levels of students’ academic performance.  The team collaboration element, cognitive process, supports the informative processing of a task (Stahl, 2000).  Therefore, Simeons (2008) expounded on the four models for assessment of students’ academic performance that would provide an instructor with a comprehensive review of a student’s academic growth and/or lack of growth.
         Setting the stage and providing clear guidelines is the foundation of a learning community (Palloff and Pratt, 2005).  Simeons (2008) provided an explanation of collaboration within the industrial province by paraphrasing the creation of an aircraft.  He continues by articulating how cooperation is achieving tasks both in education and the corporate world.  Simeons (2008) concluded the webcast by specifying the importance of collaboration elements (environment) and collaborative awareness.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education. Baltimore: Author.

Palloff, R.M., & Pratt, K. (2005).  Collaborating online: Learning together in community.  San Francisco, CA:  Jossey-Bass.
Stahl, G. (2000).  A Model of Collaborative Knowledge-Building. In B. Fishman & S. O’Connor-Divelbiss (Eds.), Fourth International Conference of the Learning Sciences.  Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 70-77.


  1. You provide great reasons for collaboration; how would you get a reluctant learner to engage in collaborative assignments? What ways do you feel are appropriate to encourage learners to participate in a learning community? Do you feel that learners should be forced into participation (i.e. have a grade attached to participation)?

  2. Collaboration if developed correctly by the instructor has independent and group assignments. Therefore, the collaboration activity will address all issues. Yes, I do believe a portion of their grade should be attached to participation. Because, our culture is changing to the trend of collaborative/teamwork projects.

  3. Two things you said stick with me. The first is creating individual tasks within a group project. This is important for assessment. The second is setting the stage and providing clear guidelines for learning communities. These guidelines must match learning objectives. Learning communities need to be built. They do not work over night. Collaboration itself must have guidelines.

  4. I agree that it's best to have an environment that encompasses individual and community based learning. This will help meet the needs of all students. In the K-12 environment there will be students that would prefer to work alone and some that like work in groups. With the proper guidance from the instructor the students could have the best of both worlds.