Topic 3 : Collaborative work

My reflections on topic 3 collaborative work, in essence working together in an online space towards a group achieved goal. i Focused on the question of value, as i saw if the output is valuable i would think that the correlation would be motivation as a fact achieved. i came to this realization from my own experience and those of my students. Many students as the question “what is benefit of me studying this subject?”, generally few students do well if they believe that the subject there are learning doesn’t add value and to this there are ultimately motivated to learn.

Value of collaboration – what are those?

The old age adage saying goes that “two heads are better than one”. Historically, Good collaborations produce great innovations for example Watson and Crick or Page and Brin, Founders of Google and a collaborative Computer Club about basic programming at a middle school brought together two minds that change the future of computing Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the founders of Microsoft. Collaborative learning teams are said to attain higher level thinking and preserve information for longer times than students working individually. This can be demonstrated in that students sharing their knowledge and learning new knowledge from each other enables sharing process that creates inspiration, motivation and success in achieve outcomes. Groups tend to learn through “discussion, clarification of ideas, and evaluation of other’s ideas.” Perhaps information that is discussed is retained in long term memory.  Research by Webb suggests that students who worked collaboratively on math computational problems earned significantly higher scores than those who worked alone.  Plus, students who demonstrated lower levels of achievement improved when working in diverse groups.

Students decide to participate in an on-line course for a specific reason, to gain experience in the environment, progress in a degree, new knowledge etc.

A Decisive and important factor in an online course is course design, the quantity, quality and type of interactions, whether it is interaction with the course content, instructors, or fellow students. Swan (2001)

Engagement, defined as “student-faculty interaction, peer-to-peer collaboration and active learning…” (Chen, Gonyea, & Kuh, 2008, para. 2), has been positively related to the quality of the learning experience. Social learning or learning as part of a group is an important way to help students gain experience in collaboration and develop important skills in critical thinking, self-reflection, and co-construction of knowledge. Online learners should not be impoverished in terms of social learning because they cannot or choose not to come to a campus.

If am online student is frustrated with the course design there lose interest and negative view on collaboration. Furthermore, if a student doesn’t see the value in the collaboration their engagement is lessen

Access to education should not mean merely access to content (which is readily available without formal enrollment with an educational provider); rather, it should mean access to a rich learning environment that provides opportunity for interaction and connected-ness. Quality learning environments include opportunities for students to engage in interactive and collaborative activities with their peers; such environments have been shown to contribute to better learning outcomes, including development of higher order thinking skills.


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