COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOMS- INNOVATIVE APPROACH TOWARDS LEARNING
The new age curriculum of the Gen-Z generation and beyond requires the students to be actively engaged in the process of learning, for in depth knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
For a broader and deeper comprehension, the learners should be allowed a certain amount of management and handling of the content matter so that they may develop high level of critical thinking abilities.
At Sarvottam, which is one of the best International schools in Greater Noida West extension, the concept of collaborative classrooms has been introduced which facilitates involvement of students in the process of learning, there by increasing greater comprehension, retention and exposure to diverse perspectives.
COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOMS -THE CONCEPT
Collaborative classrooms incorporate peer-to-peer learning where dyads or small groups collaborate with each other to discuss and discern concepts or find solutions to problems.
It is a pattern quite different from the traditional classrooms where the knowledge flows only in one direction. In collaborative classrooms, the curriculum objectives are effectively achieved through dialogues and interaction among different heterogeneous groups of students.
Sarvottam has successfully adopted this experiential method of learning and this is one of the reasons that Sarvottam has secured its place among the top schools of Greater Noida West.
BENEFITS OF COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOMS
There are numerous benefits of this type of arrangement in the classroom settings.
- Through this method, in depth and meaningful learning is promoted.
- It leads to effective communication and interaction among peers.
- Students share authority with their teachers and become active, self reliant and responsible.
- It gives exposure and comprehension of diverse perspectives.
- Students are able to solve real life tasks and address real life challenges and issues.
FEATURES OR CHARACTERISTICS OF COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOMS
The hallmark of collaborative classrooms is that it is managed entirely by the students. Students work in pairs or groups to achieve the desired learning outcome. The collaborative classrooms seem to have the following characteristics.
- In these classes authority is shared among teachers and students. The students carry out the learning process through interactive dialogues with their peers under the guidance of the teachers.
- Knowledge is also shared both ways. Teachers are not, the only information providers. Flow of information happens in both directions, from teacher to student and vice versa.
- Teachers work as mediators and regulate the level of information and support among the students.
- Heterogeneous grouping of students allows the inclusion of diversity and appreciation of individual perspectives and contributions.
CONDUCTION AND REGULATION OF COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOMS
As it is well established that collaborative classrooms are managed by students alone and are very helpful in increasing their retention, self-esteem and level of critical thinking. Suffice to say that these classrooms also promote team spirit and responsible attitude.
Nevertheless, the conduction and regulation of these classes require certain amount of planning and organisation on the part of the teachers. Following points are to be followed if a collaborative classroom is to be set.
- Determining the requirement of the task and formation of groups accordingly.
- Setting group goals and establishing some ground rules for ascertaining the accountability of the students involved.
- Assigning roles to each member of the group to ensure proper contribution from everyone.
- Conduction of icebreaker activities to maximize interaction between the members of the group.
- Promoting trust and effective communication among members of the groups.
- Allowing peer assessment where students can rate each other’s quality and quantity of contribution.
- Intermittent checking and guidance by the teacher mentor to guarantee proper achievement of learning outcome.