Creating Collaborative Communities

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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
  • Start small!

Any other ideas or comments??

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