This is the last of the series of four articles about teaching the 4Cs to students. The previous article was about teaching effective Communication skills to students. This part will discuss about the significance and ways of teaching collaborative skills to students.
Collaboration is the act of working together to achieve a common goal by solving problems, inventing, creating and producing results. Collaboration is important because through it we can learn more and better by supporting each other emotionally and committing to cumulative efforts and effects. For collaboration to produce results, group members should see each other as having different resources in the form of information, cognitive styles, cultures, decisions, etc., and should also understand that they have come together as equals to do a job. The problems we face today can be better approached through community effort because for complex problems or for a better understanding of any problem, multiple perspectives are required to analyze situations, imagine solutions and develop strategies to achieve them. What’s most needed is the commitment that comes from collaborative work in order to follow through on our plans.
Studies and research are evident of the fact that better learning outcomes are achieved when students work in collaboration with each other. Working together keeps them motivated and gives them the encouragement to contribute towards the achievement of a common goal and is a positive influence on student engagement.
- A study on the effects of cooperative learning and need for affiliation was carried out to investigate the effects and need for collaboration. Students were made to use either an individual learning strategy or a cooperative strategy to work on a task. Results showed that students who worked collaboratively reported greater satisfaction than those who worked individually.
- In the book Powerful Learning by Linda-Darling Hammond, it is pointed out that according to studies, groups are known to outperform individuals on learning tasks and also that individuals who work in groups perform better on assignments as well.