Working in the education field, you’ve probably heard the term “collaborative learning” many times. But what exactly is this buzzword? And does the method live up to the hype?
Collaborative learning is an approach to teaching that involves people working together to reach a common goal. Many educational experts hail this teaching style as the one with the highest achievement.
Check out these four impressive benefits of cooperative learning. And learn how to incorporate this technique with staff and students by handing out education promotional products.
Benefits of learning collaboratively
The process of collaborative learning has many advantages for all who participate. As students work together, brainstorm ideas, and listen carefully to one another, there is more learning that happens than just the subject matter at hand. Here are four benefits that collaborative learning offers.
- Improved communication skills: Because discussion is at the heart of any successful group, collaborative learning provides students the opportunity to practice and get more comfortable speaking in front of people. It also requires the expression of intellectual and emotional thoughts as group members share opinions, express feelings and ask clarifying questions.
- Leadership skill development: Whether it happens naturally or when directed by teachers, every group needs a leader. As participants practice keeping their group on task, narrowing down their ideas, and inspiring everyone to participate, students are given the opportunity to practice leading their team.
- Increased self-esteem: When students feel their contributions are valuable, it improves their confidence. Plus, their self-esteem builds as they learn new perspectives from others in their group.
- Deeper level of thinking and problem-solving: With collaborative learning, students are more engaged in discussion, listening and problem-solving than usual. This forces them to look at topics through a new light, creating a higher level of thinking.
Ideas for incorporating collaborative learning among staff, students and parents
To get you started on a collaborative learning journey, here are a few ideas for bringing this learning style to your school.
- At PTA or staff meetings, break into small groups to discuss and brainstorm agenda items. Provide education promotional products, such as a notepad and pen, so everyone can write down their ideas to share.
- Give students a different “puzzle piece” for a topic, such as a historical event or book chapter. When each has studied their piece, they present it to their group and discuss how the pieces fit together. For younger students, divide up pieces to an actual puzzle and have groups work to put the puzzle together.
- For a planning meeting—budget, event, project or any other type of planning—provide each staff member with a segment to research before the meeting begins. Then, invite groups to come together and share their ideas and research. Reward the best new findings with school spirit promotional items, such as T-shirts or hats.
- When practicing vocabulary words, split students into two groups. After you call out a word, students must arrange themselves into the correct spelling of the word by each person holding a piece of paper with a letter. The first team to line up with the correct spelling of the word receives a point. The team that wins at the end of the game can earn a school spirit promotional item, such as a foam finger.
With collaborative learning, everyone wins.
Now that you know the benefits and how to incorporate this method at your school, you’re on your way to creating a strong collaborative culture. Plus, it’s easy to encourage participation with the help of education promotional products.