Collaborative e-Learning, open e-Learning, social e-Learning are only some of the ways to define the possibility and effectiveness to open e-Learning to collaborative, horizontal and non-vertical approaches, overcoming the division between teacher and student.
Of course, collaborative learning is an important part of e-Learning, allowing students to benefit from the experience of their peers and become protagonist of the learning thanks to a more effective and social way to get and preserve notions. Objective of this mode is to boost learners to feel active member of a community, also by simple and immediate tools.
Here’s 10 suggestions developed by Teleskill to implement collaboration tools within didactic design
- Identify the simplest tools. When choosing among available collaboration tools for a e-Learning project, you must focus on usability and accessibility. Simplicity is essential for learners to concentrate on contents and lessons, rather than spending time in understanding the technology!
- Tell the advantage of collaboration tools. It is fundamental to communicate the advantages of the training options you select; understanding, incentives and active participation allow students to be always aware of the benefits coming from the use of the tools at their disposal, and this generates a pro-active attitude.
- Quickly replace old methods with ne new collaborative tools. Are there current practices or activities in the e-Learning course that could change and improve the collaboration and involvement of the group of students? If yes, it’s necessary to immediately move them to the new collaborative tools to let the learner be at the center of the project, to give and receive competences, to create value to the whole community.
- Share real case histories. Case histories allow students to see how they can apply topics they learn to the real world. In addition to this, it allows to create experiences more emotionally involving.
- Create web meeting/webinar facilitates the conversation in the group. Collaborative learning is made up of exchange of ideas, of conversations: this is why it is extremely effective to create an event stimulating group discussion. Session can also be focused on the sharing of a video or another document to be modified altogether.
- Remember that collaboration tools also are great tools to help study. Creating paths and areas of collaborative learning helps the study group a lot. You can do it by sharing files in videoconference, sharing your screen, or writing a multiple-hand word, as when you are running a traditional project work with physical attendance.
- Create projects based on video chat, instant messaging, e-mail or social mechanisms. It’s effective developing projects or tasks encouraging students to communicate, either via video conversation or chat or instant messaging, in order to make learning process stimulating and involving at the same time. For this reason it is useful to create tools replicating in telematics way dialogue methodologies already common on social networks.
- Encourage students to work together with shared projects. Get students accustomed to use collaboration tools, incite them to share experiences, feedbacks, opinions and get benefit of the sum of knowledge and competences of the whole group.
- Create shared calendars to respect deadlines and objectives. A e-Learning course replicate real life and makes students aware that they’re part of a group and responsible toward their peers in the group.
- Remember that a teacher is a facilitator. The role of any on-line teacher is to facilitate the learning process. Collaboration tools are a fantastic help for this mission and can be used to drive conversations, to ask questions activating meaningful discussions, to monitor that everything goes in the way the most useful for each single student as well as for the whole group of study.
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