Flat Connections

Transforming learning through global collaboration

  • What are the three “R’s” of global collaboration?
  • What are some ways that the global community could be involved in a student project?
  • How can students be used to help manage a project? Why would this be beneficial for the students? For the teachers?
  • How can different types of students be encouraged to participate in collaboration? What are some ways that students can contribute? How can they be assessed?
  • How important is it to link authentic assessment models with collaborative projects?

Tags: 6, chapter, collaboration, contribution, flatclass, flatclassroom

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The three R’s of global collaboration are: Receive, Read, and Respond.

The global community can be involved in a student project by simply following what students are doing or by taking more active roles as keynote speakers, judges, or expert advisors.

Students can assist in managing a project by organizing, inspiring, motivating and making decisions about contribution and collaboration. Students benefit from peer review. Sometime students listen better to their peers than they do a teacher. Teachers can benefit from student managers by dividing up the tasks and delegating to the student manager. Teachers can also benefit from a different perspective from a younger manager.

Different types of students can be encouraged to participate in collaboration. This can happen by teachers holding students accountable, providing guidance in their engagement and requiring students to complete self-assessments. Students can contribute through developing their online profile, researching material, analyzing material, communicating and sharing blog posts and editing and discussing wikis. They can, also, demonstrate effective digital citizenship. Students can be assessed based a rubric that explains the requirement of their contribution in the areas stated above.

It is important to link authentic assessment models with collaborative projects because it encourages student participation. Students need to be assessed based on quantitative and qualitative factors. For a global project to be successful students need to connect frequently but they also need to assure their connections and contributions are qualitative.

The three R's of Global Collaboration are Receive, Read and Respond.

Rewarding ways to be involved: be a judge for a flatclassroom project, or to have more interaction with the students putting together the material, be an expert advisor.

Some students will naturally become involved in the project to a greater degree than their peers, and the experience they gain can be passed to classmates, providing peer mentoring and generating interest.  These student leaders will also be able to provide a student perspective on the  organization and content of the collaboration.  This will benefit the students by providing a bridge between them and the teacher in terms of communication and motivation.  Teachers benefit by having help organizing and maintaining the interest among the students in the class.

Getting a high percentage of students to participate is one the most difficult challenges for a teacher.  The methods to engage students can begin with emphasis on the incredible and rewarding experience global collaboration can provide. Engaged students will understand the satisfaction this can bring.  Students who are procrastinators may enjoy the project but might miss out on opportunities due to their own delays.  Difficulties this can  cause may motivate them to be more engaged in future projects.  Still others, who do not appreciate the value of the project will have to be held accountable on a teacher-student level, finding ways to ensure that their work is being completed.

From the beginning of the project, to the conclusion, students must understand what is expected of them, and how their participation and finished product will be turned into results they can understand in terms of marks and course completion. It is very important for students to understand the rubric for all global projects.

Recieve, Read and Respond are the three R's of global collaboration.

 

The global community could be involved in a student project by working along side the student, providing advise, resources or even information pertaining to the projcet.

 

Students can help manage a project by taking a specific or general role in the overseeing of said project. They can be expert advisors or even something as simple as a research partner for another student from around the globe. This is beneficial in showing students the other side of global collaboration and it also incoporates managerial skills which are important for students to learn. Teachers benefit from this because it could help lighten the load.

 

Different types of students can be encouraged to participate by the teacher giving them specific and meaningful roles in the project. This will give the student invested interest if they like what they are doing, and have say in the role they are given. Students can contribute as researchers, analyzers, advisors or editors. They can be assessed on the work they have done, or how they collaborated in the project.

 

It is very important to link authenic assessment models to these projects, it gives meaning and reason to it. Students need to know what they are being assessed on prior to the project, so they can plan their collaboration in regards to the assessment.

All of the responses have referred to assessment.  This might be the most important aspect for the continued success of online collaborative projects.  I find that the one thing my teachers are most afraid of is a collaborative, or sometimes, even a cooperative project.  They fear harsh parental reactions to the fact that their own child's grade is somehow linked to the work of another.  Establishing clear expectations with specific rubrics is important to any collaborative project.  In addition to rubrics for teacher assessment, students need to be able to assess peers in a productive way to encourage better participation.  Only when students receive inspiration to perform from a well-constructed authentic, meaningful assessment, and students know they will be required to pull their weight from a clearly defined rubric, will fears about working collaboratively begin to ease. 

Yes-- Susan, this seems to be the rub for me too. How do we make assessments that both nudge and motivate, and don't focus on compliance?  Or do we have to establish compliance in order to create an environment in which all can be motivated and engaged?  

Even as a (usually) motivated adult, it can be hard to stay connected to the tasks, and know how to spend the precious little time that we have.  But, engaging with others, and the value that comes from that (and fulfillment) seems to keep us coming back for more.  So the task is helping kids feel that too. 

I like that - the engagement is *very* important. 

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