Collaborative learning happens when students work with partners or in small groups on a clearly defined task (Lehr and Osborne, 2005). When students work in these types of groups, motivation improves, students get to learn how others understand the subject matter, and it teaches them how to work effectively and efficiently with others (Alverman and Eakle, 2003).
But what exactly does this look like in today’s world? From an adult perspective the work we do is no longer tied to geographic locations. Technologies such as video conferencing, shared cloud workspaces and the Internet have made collaboration just a “mouse-click” away. For students, especially the Millennial generation, this is just “normal” to them. Posting their thoughts about the final scene of “Romeo and Juliet” for their classmates to see is just part of being in 9th grade. Likewise many college and university classes are now hybrids where in class discussions continue at home in the form of online discussion boards.
So how do I address collaborative learning? My answer is this: “I live and work in the 21st Century and I am part of a global community. How could I not?” What about you?