Last week I was asked how to create Collaborative communities for students working in an online only classroom. I brainstormed a few ideas.
This is hard to just create! And 10 time harder online than face to face.
Start out with a clear expectation that students have to participate and work together – they are in their final years of school and need to start to be able to work together for employment and further education.
Set clear norms and ways of interacting online.
Start with some low stakes activities, "get to know you icebreakers" or watch a fun youtube and discuss etc.
Make the interactions and activities real - the collaboration has to be a real activity….
Set up some group activity and have the students present/contribute on topics on a regular basis. Teach the rest of the class.
Use discussions as a scavenger hunt platform – that might be a fun thing to do – groups of students collaborate to amass the “items” then make 1 post with all the items in it. (could be related to course work – find real examples of....
Use peer review on assignments and have this as an expectation everyone has to – teach them about how to give constructive feedback though!!
Set some assignments that are group submissions – students can rate their personal contribution.
Set up some group spaces they can edit and contribute to as study areas they work in – you can set this up as self select groups or you can assign them.
Students could set up their own discussion spaces (a bit like their own facebook!)
Let them edit some pages – assign 2 or 3 to make an info page on a topic for all students to use- give them edit access and assess it. You can see page history if anyone mucks up!
Use video feedback.
Use the conferences in Canvas for informal get togethers/ study groups (Recordings only last 2 weeks) – maybe a “cookies and chat” study time – bring your own cookies!
Use collaborations Office 365 or GoogleDocs
Be on top of this and encourage and keep track of who is doing what