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Improving Educational Achievement – The advantage of collaborative learning.

Learners may improve their educational achievement workingtogether in a collaborative way, can happen peer to peer or in large groups. The interaction and personal attitude contribute towards the qualitative approach, furthermore improve their abilities and classroom techniques.

Collaborative learning is a dynamic classroom instrument and students are more centered, as a result, they are more responsible for their actions, learning and production.

Collaboration can contribute to develop important skills and instead of working individually, they can support their peers boosting the learning and increasing their self-esteem.

Working in groups, learners have the possibility to practice their speech, as well as, the soft-skills, therefore being more creative for their future success.

Johnson (1989) and Pantiz (1999) p a social support system for learners listed some benefits for CL as following:

  • Social benefits: helps to develop a social support system for learners; leads to build diversity understanding among students and staff; establishes a positive atmosphere for
    modelling and practicing cooperation.
  • Phycological benefits: cooperation reduces anxiety; develop positive attitudes towards teachers.
  • Academic benefits: promotes critical thinking skills, involves students actively in the learning process, classroom results are improved; student problem solving techniques.

The interaction between learners makes them stronger to solve problems beyond the classroom because they develop a natural tendency to socialize with other outside their usual environment, preparing students for real life. It is important to understand what collaboration means and its purpose, either how it is important to develop classroom
organization for participation and achievement.

Sometimes in a classroom they are working in groups, however, it doesn’t mean that they are working collaboratively. Developing and promoting tasks that the interaction is regular contributes to overheard, creating as a group, curiosity in order to work on understanding, solutions and meanings.

The activities have to promote dialogue between them to enhance comprehension when they are talking to each other.

Planning tasks is essential for collaboration of all members of the group to achieve the purpose, each student has to be dependent on the contributions of the others, they must be involved and make the decision together encouraging social aspects of interaction.

Designing projects, games, preparing some activities and promote some discussions are important tools for learners to be more responsible for what they are doing together. The activities have to create rapport and also sense of group achievement.

Learning from each other happens in our everyday life and in a group of different students, different answers will appear, therefore different perspectives in a way that they will be able to express ideas, and being heard can develop and give the feeling of importance also gain confidence as they are supporting others toward a common goal.

Throughout this process, interacting with another person build strong social skills, promotes diversity and inspires creativity, also students appear to be more satisfied.

Leading a collaborative learning classroom successfully should start with clear instructions, explain to students precisely what is expected to achieve, set up rules and monitor groups moving around to look at each group to encourage and guiding the tasks. Teachers observe the students and be able to know their skills and it is possible to interact with them personally, giving the opportunity to be involved in the discussion which can result in a better production.

When one student is speaking and explaining the ideas, the others are listening what they have been discussing, improving their oral communication skills. (Smith 1986)

Besides that, the higher levels students can contribute to the lower students by giving explanations in order to help them to achieve the goal as a group improving their general performance.

Moreover, digital transformation has been creating the possibility to teach across distance from anywhere around the world, it is also possible to adapt the collaborative learning to teach students on line using video or streaming platforms in which students are motivated to brainstorming, solving problems, share ideas, knowledge and express opinions. Managing the time is either important on line and in person, due to the activities allow them to have an active role in their learning.

In conclusion, collaborative learning is a significant approach to encourage students to be success intellectually and in life. Instead of creating competitive environment against one another, working collaboratively they will meet a common goal and include learning skills that is required in the 21 st Century.

About author

Professora de Língua Inglesa em escolas de Idiomas, Empresas e Escola Particular e Língua Portuguesa em Empresas para estrangeiros. Pós graduação em Língua Portuguesa e Literaturas da Língua Portuguesa desde 2008. Certificados: Celta - Stafford House International London e TKT. Trabalho Voluntário em Londres North London Hospice.
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