How do you teach collaboration?


Genuine participation

How do you teach collaboration? I have been thinking about this because it is now very much part of high powered learning  institutions and work places. Group work and working together can often mean one or two people do the work and others just warm the seat. Even if you create an assessment which shows up lack of participation , it will  not alter the down side of group work. I have just tried group presentation and assessment with my junior students. These are good students but they find it hard to work in groups to collaborate and find it hard to listen to individual presentations in front of the class. They have laptops and iPads and theses devices have ascendency over anyone or anything. These students were born in 2000. They are different and they learn quite differently. I told them of my plan for our last presentation of the year, went away and drew up the assessment rubrics and brought them back to class. My Year 9s took this very seriously and came up with some valid adjustments to the form. Yesterday we had the group presentations and I could not have predicted how absorbed and committed they were to serious presentation to their group and bona fide assessment. We had chosen our own groups of 4 and we had an electronic form to fill out and upload to the learner management system. They all participated. Their use of technology to present to each other was inventive and a cut above how we normally use it. They could see having a laptop meant they could really get some power out of being someone who had important information to share. They also understood that the assessment of each other was a good way to help each other and then encourage each other to do even better next time because the form has some clear indicators of performance. To complete the assessment we did our feedback on Twiducate. I asked the following questions:

1. Did you enjoy researching the French Revolution? Would you recommend it for next Year 9s?
2. Did you think the assessment form allowed you to have a fair assessment?
3. Did you like peer assessment? Is it a good way to be assessed?
4. Do you think you were given a fair and reasonable hearing?
5. Would you prefer to present to a small group or a whole class?
6. Anything else?

These are typical of the responses:

1. Researching about the French Revolution was difficult as there is so much inaccurate information on the internet as well as biased information. But it was good to research information about France and how the French Revolution has shaped the country and also has had an impact on the world.
2. I think the assessment form was good but there should be a more variety of choices instead of three- 🙂 :/ 😦
3. Peer assessment was fantastic as it was more relaxed and you could stop and people could talk or ask questions about what they think. I enjoyed it much more than class assessment.
4. I think everyone was given a fair chance
5. I prefer presenting in front of a small group as it is more relaxed and enjoyable.

1. Yes the French Revolution was a fun topic to research because the French Revolution was an interesting part of history.
2. Yes I believe so.
3. Peer assessment is a good form of marking because the students get to mark based on what they like/don’t like when it is usually the teacher.
4. I believe I was marked fairly.
5. A small group would be better to present to because your are more confident with a smaller group of students.
6. No

With their input I now have an even better group assessment form for next year.


2 Responses

  1. […] me feedback and ideas on an assignment. A classic use of it last year was when I was trying to do group assessment and it was the first time I had done it with my class. We wanted to get it right. We used Twiducate […]


  2. […] improvement mode. It also increases your network and so you have more resources to sustain you. My group assessment rubrics were exactly about that. Blogging and being on Twitter is always about that. This video frequently […]


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