Special Skills Students Gain Through Collaborative Learning
In the new age of the internet, with the rise of EdTech and e-learning platforms, more and more students are getting acquainted with online learning. However, it is not only becoming acquainted, students are becoming very familiar with collaborative learning and studying together that e-learning sites have become a necessity for education in the modern era.
This process was expedited with the covid-19 global pandemic, but looking at the overall trend, and pathway, the education sector was always heading in this trajectory. EdTech solutions provide a means for students, parents, and teachers to circumvent outside obstructions in order to focus on educational goals. This is done through a bevy of means. Peer-to-peer learning is one of them, where students rely on each other to gain education knowledge. Studying together, students can acquire knowledge from one another, by either learning the subject or teaching it.
This dual exchange and level of communication embed and refine skills in the students that are pivotal for their future. Special skills that tend to translate favorably in the work environment and social situations in the latter years of their life. Skills like collaboration and teamwork are just examples of the many traits that students gain and grow through peer-to-peer learning and collaborative learning. But there are other special skills that students gain through collaborative learning.
Obviously, the first and foremost skills gained from collaborative learning are the skill and ability to collaborate. Collaborative learning activities vary widely, but most of them revolve around the student’s discovery or application of the curriculum, and not simply on the teacher’s presentation of it.
In collaborative classrooms, students study together to make progression at the individual level, yet in tandem with their peers. Students are working towards a common goal, and thus are all held accountable to one another on that end. That’s why studies show that simply sticking students together in groups
does not reflect a positive collaboration. Provided with the appropriate guidance and structure, students learn to self-manage the collaborative learning process. In effect, students will learn to collaborate. More specifically, they will learn to better distinguish and accept differences in opinions, recognizing it in themselves and in their peers. They will be able to learn to work with these differences, to reach common goals.
In a person’s professional career, they will find themselves competing with their peers for a particular prize, be it a promotion or a position. In that sense, competition is a healthy trait to have because it fuels progress, encourages higher quality, and allows for fair reward distribution based on performance and results. Instilling such a trait at a young age in a healthy manner can have positive net results in the long run. Studying together, students will learn new skills and techniques from their peers. Amongst their own group, they will compete with one another to provide the best contribution. In the broader sense, students will compete with other groups of students, to be recognized as the group with the best performance, and the best outcomes. This sense of healthy competition is good for students to not only be acquainted with at a young age, but adds further fuel to their fire, and motivates them to study better and learn more.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
have shown the positive effect that collaborative learning have had on students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Through collaborative learning, students are put in collaborative groups and given a wide array of mathematical and problem-solving exercises to choose from. Students learn to work with one another to solve these problems in an efficient manner. Whenever a student is stuck at a particular point of the problem, there is always a ready body present, to help them cross that point. However, supervised intervention is oftentimes needed. In traditional classrooms, the teacher plays the role of supervisor and facilitator. In e-learning websites like PeerSquare, the technology is the facilitator, providing assistance when need be.
Studying together in peer-to-peer learning creates a newfound dynamic amongst the students. In collaborative learning and peer-to-peer learning, students are learners and teachers. In that sense, they are able to exchange problem-solving skills and techniques with one another, by applying their methods in a teaching manner. They are also able to enhance their critical thinking through real-world applications within these collaborative groups, and while studying together with other students.
Social and Interpersonal Skills
Collaborative learning goes a long way in honing and embedding the student’s social skills. Interpersonal skills like communication, moral support, and assistance are all skills that students learn in collaborative learning, and by studying together. Peer-to-peer learning forces students to work together in groups, to reach common goals and outcomes. Studies show that this form of collaborative learning significantly enhances social skills in students. While critics may argue that collaborative learning breeds a form of dependence by students on each other, studies have shown that there is a positive interdependence
among students. Students perceive that they can only reach their goal if the other students in their group reach them as well.
In addition, social skills are taught through collaborative learning. These skills must be learned and not simply assumed or instructed. Furthermore, students also become familiar with individual accountability, where they perceive that they will each be held for a particular aspect of the overall group effort.
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
The final list of skills picked up by students studying together in collaborative learning is much longer than the ones mentioned above. However, the skills mentioned here are the most notable and evident from collaborative learning. In the end, collaborative learning is by and far the most effective method to teach students a specific set of skills. Teamwork, accountability, competition, social skills are just some of the skills that are best delivered through collaborative learning and studying together. These special skills that students gain through collaborative learning go a long way in not only elevating the student’s current academic performance but also for preparing that said student for their future.
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