Coolaborative learning community

Coolaborative learning communityTo realize a collaborative learning spirit there must be a shared understanding of the learning situation among learners and their teachers and clear goal setting for both sides. Learners are required to give their best in terms of action and effort to be invested to accomplish the learning task and solve problems together as a team. In collaborative learning, communication is everything. Through the use of available technological communication tools learners and their teachers could meet both synchronously and asynchronously and making a follow up for learners’ progress by their teacher has also become easier (Eastman & Swift, 2002: Pp38-39). There are all sorts of technological tools nowadays to aid in collaborative learning process. It’s up to learners and their teachers to find which tools work best in their context, which can be used for routine interactions during the course, and which suit best which type of assignment/tasks. The goal of using these tools should be to enhance and empower leaners with communication and collaborative skills so as they can achieve the intended learning objectives.

During the ONL91, collaborative tools proved to be very useful throughout the course duration with my ONL Group 9 were Emails for update information among member, Zoom for online meetings, Google doc for writing response to course assignments and Padlet for posting members’ topics’ reflections;. However, these communication tools were agreed by all members to be used as means of communication just in the beginning of the course. Birds of the same feather flock together. This adage helps to explain another dimension of an effective collaborative learning community. I learned that, in collaborative learning learners should know each other and help one another throughout the inquiry process of learning as is explained by Kuhlthau et al (2007). According to Kuhlthau and colleagues, the inquiry learning process focus on exploring/investigating a learning topic, identifying appropriate information and information sources required to respond to a given topic, collecting/gathering information, creating or writing assignment, making interpretations, evaluating and sharing of the final work to the rest of the community. Nevertheless, it takes a group’s dedication to accomplish all these tasks collaboratively by each group member taking a role to contributing in solving a problem at hand through gathering multiple sources of information, perspectives and experience (Graesser et al,2018). Learners will have to plan ahead on (a) how they will handle a topic in question including taking lead in facilitation and co-facilitation activities (b) how they will collect/gather information from different sources, analyze, interpret, present and share their group work to the lager community (c) how they will plan their time form managing group activities and individual works e.g. writing blog posts and collective assignments and (d) they should also plan for effective feedback mechanism which will keep all group members in the loop.

Lastly, supporters of collaborative learning insist on having a small group size for effective collaboration among group members (Kooloos et al, 2011), also it “stimulates motivation as members feel responsible and accountable for the group results and grow intellectually by weighing each others’ argument and deepens their knowledge through cognition and thought  processing” (Slavin 1996). In addition, if learners work in smaller groups they can interact easily, meaningfully and may accomplish leaning tasks in time.


  1. Eastman, J. K., & Swift, C. O. (2002). Enhancing collaborative learning: Discussion boards and chat rooms as project communication tools. Business Communication Quarterly, 65(3), 29-41.
  2. Kuhlthau, Carol, Leslie Maniotes and Ann Caspar. (2007). Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century, Libraries Unlimited.
  3. Graesser, Arthur C., et al (2018). “Advancing the science of collaborative problem solving.” Psychological Science in the Public Interest Vol . 19.2: pp 59-92.
  4. Kooloos, J. G., Klaassen, T., Vereijken, M., Van Kuppeveld, S., Bolhuis, S., & Vorstenbosch, M. (2011). Collaborative group work: effects of group size and assignment structure on learning gain, student satisfaction and perceived participation. Medical Teacher33(12), 983-988.
ONL91-Grp9 – My Reflections on Topic 3: Becoming Part of Collaborative Learning Community!