Collaborative learning

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Collaborative learning is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches in education that involve joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers. Collaborative learning refers to methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task in which each individual depends on and is accountable to each other. Groups of students work together in searching for understanding, meaning or solutions or in creating an artifact of their learning such as a product. The approach is closely related to cooperative learning. Collaborative learning activities can include collaborative writing, group projects, and other activities. Collaborative learning has taken on many forms:

  • One form is Collaborative Networked Learning for the self-directed adult learner. Youth directed collaboration, another form of self-directed organizing and learning, relies on a novel, more radical concept of youth voice.
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) has emerged as a new educational paradigm among researchers and practitioners in several fields, including cognitive sciences, sociology, computer engineering. It thus constitutes a new trans-disciplinary field.
  • Collaborative Learning also has a particular meaning in the context of Learning Management Systems. In this context, collaborative learning refers to a collection of tools which learners can use to assist, or be assisted by others. Such tools include Virtual Classrooms (i.e. geographically distributed classrooms linked by audio-visual network connections), chat, discussion threads, application sharing (e.g. a colleague projects spreadsheet on another colleague’s screen across a network link for the purpose of collaboration), among many others.
  • Collaborative Learning Development Enables developers of learning systems to work as a network. Specifically relevant to e-learning where developers can share and build knowledge into courses in a collaborative environment. Knowledge of a single subject can be pulled together from remote locations using software systems. An example of this could be Content point from Atlantic Link

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