#byod4l day 4 – collaborating

This was the question that started last nights #byod4l tweet chat.  Pretty tricky isn’t it?  As with every night this week there was flurry of responses to this and the rest of the questions during the hour. You can catch up on all the discussion via the collated storify.  For me collaboration is usually about working with people to create something tangible or for some common goal, I also think:

There was a general consensus last night about common goals and collaboration being different from cooperation. However, as with all the “C’s” highlighted this week there is a level of interdependence and we had quite a few other “C’s” appearing such as commitment and confusion.  The tweet chat and the discussion in our drop in session highlighted around collaboration also highlighted the difference in attitudes and understanding of collaboration and how to foster it between us professional educators and students attitudes to group work and collaboration.

We have so many tools that can help us create collaborative activities. Lots of staff here use group wikis for example. However as the discussions in our drop in session highlighted,  students really don’t like collaborative/group activities. It doesn’t matter what technology you use, there is a cultural issue about group work.  Of course I’m not saying our students aren’t capable of working collaboratively and in groups – of course they are and do. However it is hardly surprising that there are moans and groans as throughout their pre- university experiences a typical undergraduate (between 18-26) has probably had very little experience of group working/collaborating in an educational (and assessed) situation.  Most of their assessment has/is been based on individual efforts and recognition.

Making the leap from co-operation because you have to do something with others to collaboration where everyone is committed to a common goal is quite a leap. Even for us “grown ups” there are lots of instances in all our professional lives where we really don’t go beyond co-operation (often grudging cooperation at that) to meaningful collaboration. Technology can help, but successful collaboration is fundamentally down the willingness of humans to interact with each other to create something. And creating is the topic for the final day of #byod4l – and this is a lovely creation of some of the collaboration happening this week.

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