After looking for information and reading a lot about collaborative projects I have come to the conclusion that collaborative projects have many advantages and just a few of disadvantages. I must confess that the most I know about them the more advantages I can see on using them.
If you are interested in knowing what the advantages and disadvantages of collaborative projects are here you can read my opinion:
- I think that the most important plus when we get our students involved in a collaborative project is that they are motivated and active in the learning process because they learn to achieve a goal and they usually feel attracted towards this kind of task. On the other hand we, as teachers, feel self-satisfaction when we see our students learning and enjoying, don’t you?. It’s a good chance to escape from school routines
- Next advantage is the development of key competences: learning to learn because they manage their own learning and learn from others. Social and civic awareness when they negotiate and interact constructively with their mates. Personal autonomy and initiative, pupil-led rather than teacher-led. Cultural and artistic when they use their own experiences and knowledge of the world and share their work with students from different countries and cultures. Digital competence, every time they use ICT and the most important aspect about this is that they use them in a real context with a real goal. And of course, working together provides the students with the opportunity to communicate with each other to share suggestions, comments, hypothesis, feedback, successes and failures.
- The third one is that collaborative projects encourage team work. In this way they develop social and negotiating skills. All students can contribute different skills, both knowledge and negotiating skills. They have to be able to work in groups and learn to help one another. Everybody must work taking into account each one’s abilities and share their contributions and provide new ideas.
- Besides, and not less important, effective communication, even if it is speaking or writing, becomes familiar to them and implies thinking about a good plan to show their new pals interesting things about their country. Collaborative work is a reason to communicate, so generate genuine communication.
- When our students meet pupils like them from other countries they learn the importance of being connected to the rest of the world.
- ICT tools enable creativity and development of an entrepreneurial spirit, which will be a very important skill for them in the future. Pupils can use a wide range of resources available to them online or that can be easily created by them. In this way they’ll feel memorable, meaningful and innovative learning experiences which engage them.
- Through ICT, the final product of the project can be shared with other members of the school and parents who can comment and contribute. I think it’s very important to get involved the whole school community. It can be very helpful and motivating.
- All pupils can have access to the work of other students and can comment them and make suggestions quickly and directly. Immediate feedback is gratifying and encouraging. I think we all feel this way when we read the comments that others leave in our blogs, don’t we?
- Last but not least, there are no limitations of time and space and pupils don’t need to meet up after school.
- Students with learning difficulties (special educative needs) need a lot of reinforcement from the teacher and also having good students around them in order not to get lost. When we plan the activities we must have in mind these students and try to involve them and catch their attention.
- Collaborative work can be a handicap if it is not well guided. Before working with this type of class management our pupils should learn how to make groups. They must be introduced to pair and group work gradually.We can have difficulties to engage students if they are not used to work in groups
- Investigation and preparation of the classes is complex. Searching for interesting topics and inventing new and motivating activities is something that needs a lot of time and imagination.
CONCLUSION: It is really hard work but it’s worthy!