Hi world!

During the sessions, devoted to Topic 3, we have been discussing fostering collaborative learning among students. As a result of our fruitful discussions, a lot of fascinating aspects, relating to this topic, were revealed. At the end of Topic 3 I began to puzzle myself over a question “What are the key ingredients for ensuring a successful collaboration amongst students?”. Here are my reflections on this question and it would be great to get to know yours!

Firstly, it is essential to convey to the students a message about the benefits of a genuine collaboration. One of our participants (kudos to Kash!) has beautifully described it as a working mode that allows one to produce a better result than the one one could achieve working on one’s own. I thought that it was a refreshing idea that could be pitched to our extremely ambitious and highly individualistic law students. It could probably take way some pressure from our individualistic approach to learning in higher education as well. Secondly, it is imperative that a safe learning environment is created. I consider it to be a key to a successful collaboration, but I also find it to be the most difficult component to put into practice. In order to create a safe learning environment, one needs to build trust among the participants and that takes time. To be honest, I do not think that one can establish this trust-based environment within the timeline that our 2-month courses provide. A solution to that would be creating such an environment throughout the whole Bachelor or Master program as their respective 3 and 2 year length would allow for that. That, however, would also require all the teaching staff at the programs to be on board. Moreover, building trust requires active involvement of teachers in arranging team-building, extra curriculum activities, that might be problematic in the context of our tight schedule and high workload, so this aspect needs to be investigated thoroughly. And lastly, it is vital to ensure inclusiveness of students by engaging them in different types of activities, so that both the students, that prefer active participation in learning, and so-called ‘silent learners’ would find the learning process comfortable and accommodating. Our discussion on the concept of ‘silent learners’ was a real eye opener for me as I realised that I unconsciously expect the students to actively engage in the learning activities as this is the mode of learning that I have endorsed myself. I hope that from now on though I will incorporate more learning activities that would suit ‘silent students’ better:)

So, what are the key ingredients for ensuring a successful collaboration amongst students in your opinion? Will be happy to read your comments!

What are the key ingredients for ensuring a successful collaboration amongst students?