5 Ways to Build Collaborative Learning Skills

Rachelle Dene Poth wrote an article on building collaborative learning skills in and out of the classroom in October 2019. She states that developing skills for collaboration is a critical component for our students for their future. Basically she states that our students need to learn collaborative skills so that they can later on work on a team in their workplace.
Poth promotes 5 ways to promote collaboration both in the physical classroom setting as well as the virtual learning space.
1. Learning stations– when used in the classroom open up more possibilities for personalized learning, for social interactions, and the building of relationships between students and between the teach and students.
2.Cross-curricular collaboration
– How about working with another curricular area or even grade level? Find a connector between you class and that of a colleague. Create a task where the students in both of your classes must collaborate on the same project while you do the same. Maybe you use project-based learning (PBL) in your class and you want to share that framework with a colleague or it is something that you are hoping to learn from a colleague.
3. Beyond Classroom Discussions
– Have you had a great discussion going in class just to have it interrupted by the bell? Or have you tried to encourage students to share their ideas but have not been successful? How about getting students to share ideas on important topics, by using some of the digital tools available for curating material or gathering feedback. We hav many tools available that when leveraged with purpose, can add great benefits for student learning and student confidence.
4. Collaborative Creations – When it comes to having students do more creating in the classroom, we have a ton of resources and materials to choose from. Giving students the option of using traditional formats versus digital formats is something that I do a lot in my classroom. I want my students to have choices, however I also want them to build some other skills like online collaboration and designing.
5. Blogging and Website Design
– Blogging offers so many benefits in addition to building literacy skills and helping students to share ideas in a more authentic way. It also offers an effective way to build relationships between students as they exchange ideas, offer peer feedback and engage in more conversations in the classroom and online. Teachers can learn more about students and their interests, and use these ideas to create additional opportunities for collaboration within the classroom and with global peers.

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