Ifte English Conference April 19 2011



Using a Wiki

Using google docs,forums and answer garden

Collaboration and Key Competencies

Using blogs for collaborative learning and wallwisher

Using voicethread

Questions and discussion

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What is "Collaborative Learning?". Read the Dillenbourg extract below and answer the questions on the coloured (google) form below the text.

Don't forget to press submit.

Then add a short response for what you think about collaborative learning to the answer garden
below the google form.
Pierre Dillenbourg (1999) argues that collaborative learning is neither a mechanism, nor a method.
• Collaborative learning is not one single mechanism: if one talks about "learning from collaboration", one should also talk about "learning from being alone". Individual cognitive systems do not learn because they are individual, but because they perform some activities (reading, building, predicting, ...) which trigger some learning mechanisms (induction, deduction, compilation,...). Similarly, peers do not learn because they are two, but because they perform some activities which trigger specific learning mechanisms. This includes the activities/mechanisms performed individually, since individual cognition is not suppressed in peer interaction. But, in addition, the interaction among subjects generates extra activities (explanation, disagreement, mutual regulation, ...) which trigger extra cognitive mechanisms
(knowledge elicitation, internalisation, reduced cognitive load, ...). The field of collaborative learning is precisely about these activities and mechanisms. These may occur more frequently in collaborative learning than in individual condition.

• Collaborative learning is not a method because of the low predictability of specific types of interactions. Basically, collaborative learning takes the form of instructions to subjects (e.g. "You have to work together"), a physical setting (e.g. "Team mates work on the same table") and other institutional constraints (e.g. "Each group member will receive the mark given to the group project"). Hence, the 'collaborative' situation is a kind of social contract, either between the peers or between the peers and the teacher (then it is a didactic contract). This contract specifies conditions under which some types of interactions may occur, there is no guarantee they will occur. For instance, the 'collaboration' contract implicitly implies that both learner contribute to the solution, but this is often not the case. Hence, a general concern is to develop ways to increase the probability that some types of interaction occur.

Click on this link to see how the form is displayed and fills as entries are submitted.

Key Competencies preparing students for the 21st Century

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  • thinking
  • using language, symbols, and texts
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing.
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Student voice MyPortfolio