Michelle L. Graham says, “What greater joy can a teacher feel than to witness a child’s success?” Indeed, it is a great feeling to see students coming off with flying colors. But, this success calls for a long and well-planned effort. These efforts are implemented in the form of teaching tools, strategies, and methodologies to realize the broad educational goals.
One such methodology is, ‘Collaborative teaching’. Let’s examine the dimensions of this interesting and effective methodology in online schooling.
What is the Collaborative Teaching Methodology?
Simply put, collaborative teaching methodology refers to group or team teaching. A virtual high school teacher divides students into small groups and takes up the role of a supervisor. Online teachers make use of this tried and tested methodology with all age groups and levels of online students.
As per UNESCO, collaborative learning improves the student’s overall abilities to learn.
Here’s a list of the top merits of ‘Collaborative’ teaching methodology –
Interpersonal skills –
We all know that the development of interpersonal skills is important for success in one’s career path. Imagine a group activity during a synchronous class where students are asked to discuss the hazards of global warming. By communicating with peers from varied family and ethnic backgrounds, students become more confident and expressive. They understand the importance of the correct selection of words. As students are conscious about voicing out their opinion in a group. Hence, they research well before presenting their thoughts. Benefits of online school include several such opportunities for students, thereby allowing them to express freely and meaningfully. Indeed a futuristic and long term benefit!
Advanced problem-solving skills –
Another great demand of the century is the development of high-order thinking skills such as problem-solving. When students work within a team/group to find possible solutions collectively, critical thinking is promoted. Critical thinking and analyzing dimensions of a problem improves the overall cognition and thinking capabilities of students. They learn to tackle problems together. In a lay man’s term, it fosters ‘out of the box thinking’ –Another need for 21st-century education!
Improved understanding –
The next benefit of this methodology is the understanding gained during this learning process. Online teachers in a virtual high school create opportunities for students to learn effectively within a group. This is possible because a group of students is a heterogeneous mix of skills and capabilities in a more or less similar age group. Learning from each other is quite easier, interesting, fun, and fruitful for them. An obvious advantage of positive interdependence!
A pool of knowledge for all-
‘Active learning’ makes an ocean of a difference in the quality of learning outcomes. Collaboration is a unique opportunity to apply concepts and use of the previously gained knowledge. Additionally, the combined knowledge of the group members makes it easier to draw conclusions. Students reach a consensus by using their collective imaginative spark. The final set of findings is the gist of their relevant inputs thereby, adding a sense of pride and self-worth for each one of them. This way, students have a great active learning experience.
Fosters team spirit and sense of responsibility –
Working towards a common goal can be fun and super exciting. This method acts as a great tool to instill a sense of belongingness and team spirit. Benefits of online school make students responsible for their own learning. A collaborative group activity motivates young students. They take pride in representing or being a part of a group. Shared responsibilities is also a good way to identify one’s strong and workable areas. A perfect blend of individual and group learning.
Student’s experience varied viewpoints-
Cross-cultural peer interaction opens the gateways to knowledge. They get exposed to new dimensions of a problem by listening to the findings and ideas of their peers. Student to student communication involves higher levels of ideas and better retention of information. Overall, this enlightening process contributes towards the holistic development of students.
Through this carefully planned collaborative methodology, we can expect better retention, improved understanding, and foster team spirit. Eventually with such online school benefits and mentoring our students are in the process of becoming ‘Global learners’.