In teaching and learning, collaboration provides an opportunity for learners to work together to achieve a common goal and/or solve industry based problems. It promotes a community of inquiry where a social, teaching, and cognitive presence can be integrated for a collaborative learning experience (Bates, 2015).
This project has outlined the four different categories of collaboration that are evident at Deakin University that are outlined in the Digital Collaboration Framework; collaborative, cooperative, connected; and social. Using these different categories, we have outlined the importance of digital collaboration, the different types of interaction and the learning that occurs through these different interactions.
Collaboration software has also been evaluated and can be implemented to support you in the development of collaboration in the teaching and learning space.
- I want students to collaborate on industry based problems so they can generate solutions for industry partners and evidence their learning.
- I want students to collaborate in small groups to generate an artefact so they can demonstrate teamwork skills.
- I want students to create an artefact in small groups so they can evidence their project management skills.
- I want students to solve an industry based problem so they can generate an artefact as part of a team.
- I want students to build a sense of belonging so they can develop student communities.
- I want students to socialise with their peers so they can create networks within common career interests.
- I want to build a sense of cohort so students feel connected to their peers, content, industry and facilitators.
- I want to develop a/synchronous activities so students feel connected when they engage with the unit.
Collaborative learning is embedded in the constructivist theory where learners can share ideas and coordinate themselves to solve a problem and/or construct common knowledge (Mercer and Littleton, 2007). It enables learners to view ideas from a different lens and scaffold their thinking through constructive conversations, critically negotiate views, and critique ideas in order to build their existing knowledge (Cass and Littleton, 2010).
Central to collaborative learning is robust discussion that can be synchronous and asynchronous to achieve the cognitive benefits through significant interaction to solve a problem (Dillenboug and Schneider, 1995). In doing so, it provides a space where there is positive social interdependence through reciprocal feedback, challenging and encouraging each other and jointly reflecting on progress and process (Johnson & Johnson, 1996). As a result, there is a shared approach to learning with greater autonomy for learners to construct their knowledge and generate artefacts (Rigault, 1996).