Collaboration is one of the key components to making a students’ experience a positive one in your course. Collaboration encourages the sharing of ideas, opinions, and opens the minds of students so they can view things in a new way and learn something new. Sometimes, it seems difficult to fit in these opportunities for collaborating with peers into our lectures for many reasons; a class may be primarily online-based, it may not seem like there is time to have discussions during class-times because it will interfere with lecture, etc.
Today, we wanted to share a few tools and ideas for incorporating opportunities for students to collaborate with one another and share ideas—try one of these this fall!
- Is your class primarily or completely online? Try out a new tool, like ThinkBinder, which is a free webtool where students can communicate with other students on topics like homework, test preparation, class discussions, and more! This is a great tool because students are not only able to share their ideas through text, but can also upload videos and live chat via text or video. It’s basically a remote study group!
- Are you set with your class-time being lectures? Many of us have a lot of information to fit in and covering this through presentations during class time is the best way we work. One way to encourage collaboration in this teaching method is to use clickers so questions can be incorporated throughout the lecture and students can provide live feedback…to encourage collaboration, try putting students in groups to provide feedback, create a quiz game…with clickers, the opportunities are endless!
- Want to try something small, yet effective? Blackboard discussions are a great way to encourage collaboration, particularly if these are integrated as part of the course syllabus! Encourage students to not only respond to the post but also to comment on the posts of others. To even go a step further, give students the opportunity to post their own discussion questions!
If you would like to explore more ways to incorporate collaboration techniques into your classroom, let us know! We can help you find the methods that work for you.