Examples of online collaboration activities? (+4 collaboration tools)

This post will be describing different examples of online collaboration activities. We will also be explaining how to plan online collaborative learning and the various collaborative tools that teachers can use for their students. Lastly, we shall discuss the importance of these collaborative activities for students.

What are examples of online collaboration activities?

The most common examples of online collaboration activities are:

  • Think-pair-share activity
  • Brainwriting activity
  • Jigsaw technique
  • Peer reviewing
  • Catch-up activity
  • Case studies
  • Fishbowl debates
  • Augmented learning
  • Discussion forums

Online collaboration activities are becoming popularly used by instructors to make the learning process more fun and effective. Since COVID-19 has disrupted lives and caused many students to take up distance learning, these collaboration activities have helped in bridging the gaps and increasing knowledge sharing. The examples of these activities are explained briefly below:

Think-pair-share activity

In this activity, the students of the class work in pairs to study a specific concept in detail. They view the concept or issue from multiple angles and discuss it briefly among themselves. The instructors also encourage discussion by using open-ended questions. Since it is among pairs, the collaboration is done in a safe and comfortable space.

Brainwriting activity

This activity is highly useful in classrooms which are dominated by extroverts or so-called overachievers. For this activity, the instructor asks the class a question or voices an opinion. Before the students can answer vocally, they are asked to write their thoughts down on paper. This allows them to sort their thoughts and also encourages shy students to speak up.

Jigsaw technique

This is a highly popular technique and is used in classrooms worldwide. To implement this technique, the instructor divides the class into small groups of four or five students. The groups are given a certain topic to study. In the group, each student receives an individual sub-topic. It becomes their responsibility to study it and then share their findings with the rest of the group.

Peer reviewing

This is another highly common technique used for learning. In this activity, the students are asked to review or assess each other’s work or responses. In order to avoid personal bias, the teacher can create anonymous peer reviews. The students are encouraged to give constructive feedback and be open and honest with their assessments.

Catch-up activity

This activity is very useful in ensuring that the students keep up with the teacher or instructor. In this activity, the instructor explains a certain concept and teaches it as usual. At a certain point in the lesson, particularly a transition point, the instructor can stop and ask the students to compare their notes and clarify doubts. Once this is done, the lesson can go on.

Case studies

Case studies are very useful for students to learn about the practical application of theoretical concepts. Through case studies, students can not only be aware of the practical applications and the challenges but also learn how to critically analyze a certain topic. To make it interesting, the students can work in groups. This allows multiple perspectives and ideas to be generated.

Fishbowl debates

Debates are highly interesting as they allow us to look deeply from both sides of the picture. In this manner, debates induce better learning. In fishbowl debates, the classroom is divided into groups of three. One student can take the ‘for’ side and another can take the ‘against’ side. The other student can take notes which the group can review and analyze after the debate is over.

Augmented learning

Augmented learning is apparently one of the effective types of learning available. In this learning, the students play different games in a certain location in order to learn a particular concept. The students solve various problems guided by notifications on their smart device. Though this learning is effective, it is very costly and difficult to develop.

Discussion forums

Discussion forums have been a common form of learning since many years. Though simple, discussion forums are highly effective in promoting learning and analyzing different topics. The instructor or teacher can post a certain topic for the students to research. They then can post their findings on the forum and also give feedback for others’ posts.

How to plan online collaborative learning?

Online collaborative learning can be tricky if you want it to be effective and at the same time fun for your students. In order to properly plan online collaborative learning, you can use the following strategies:

Create a collaborative environment in the classroom

Before implementing collaborative strategies, you need to create a positive environment in the classroom. The students should already be ready to cooperate with each other. They should also have a healthy relationship with each other and also you, as the instructor. You can do this by practicing team-bonding activities, interacting one-on-one and many other ways.

Plan the collaborative learning strategies

Collaborative learning strategies need to be planned and implemented in the right way for them to be effective. As an instructor, you need to be aware of the needs of the classroom. You also need to know the mindset of your students and which learning strategy aligns with them better. Above all, you need to know the learning goals of the classroom which they aim to achieve.

Enlighten students about the plan for collaboration

Before implementing collaborative learning strategies, it is necessary to have the full support of your students. In order to ensure their maximum cooperation, you need to enlighten them about the purpose of the collaboration and the impact it is going to create. A great way to encourage collaborative learning is to help them think long-term and in a broader perspective.

Use the right collaboration technologies

There are many educational tools that can be incorporated in the classroom for better learning. Online collaborative learning greatly uses these tools to make the classroom fun and engaging. Being aware of the most popular tools and what will suit your needs better, can help you implement a better collaborative learning strategy.

Examples of online collaborative tools for learning

Since the popularity of online learning is increasing, new technologies and products to enable this are also rising in the market. A few examples of the most popular online collaborative tools are:

Socrative

This tool is highly popular among teachers and students as it makes the classroom lively and engaging. There are many activities available on this platform that encourages students to participate and engage. It also provides quizzes and chats to promote discussion. It also uses feedback from the students to improve their experience on this platform.

Scribblar

Scribblar is a tool that is liked by many teachers. This platform actually promotes collaboration and teamwork by providing incentives for these behaviors. It has many versatile features like instant messaging and ease of file sharing. It also has many activities for individual students while also promoting group projects and discussions.

Padlet

Padlet has a business version as well as a school version. Through this platform, students can brainstorm together with ease. The platform provides features that help students share internet resources and also pictures and images. They also offer book review sessions and feedback features that teachers can use for assessment.

TodaysMeet

This platform provides many versatile features that teachers can use to manage their classrooms. Through this platform, they can host discussion forums and meetings. Students can also conduct presentations and attend seminars and workshops. TodaysMeet is highly preferred by many instructors as it allows an unlimited number of students in the class.

Importance of online collaborative activities

Online collaborative activities are important for classrooms as they provide the following benefits:

  • They encourage students to speak up and voice their opinions
  • They  allow students to feel more confident in a social setting
  • These activities promote a broad perspective and great critical thinking
  • They are important for understanding and respecting diversity
  • They allow the students to work with more meaning

Conclusion

This post has described the different examples of online collaboration activities. We have also explained how to plan online collaborative learning and the various collaborative tools that teachers can use for their students. Additionally, we have discussed the importance of these collaborative activities for students.

Frequently asked questions: (what are examples of online collaboration activities?)

How can students collaborate online?

Since online collaborative learning has become highly popular, many companies are designing apps and tools that can promote this. A few ways students can collaborate online are:

Classcraft

This app uses the likeness of video games in order to promote collaboration and learning. Since it is easy and fun to use, the participation and engagement levels of students is very high. It allows students to create their own personal avatar who goes on a quest and earn points through positive behaviors, completing tasks, attending regularly and achieving deadlines.

Yammer

Yammer is basically Facebook for students. Social media is actually a great tool for learning but can prove to be distracting for students. However, through Yammer students can share ideas with each other and also give feedback. Yammer is not only used by students and teachers but also by parents who would want to play an active role in their child’s education.

CueThink

CueThink is particularly used to learn mathematics in a fun and interactive way. Through CueThink, students can choose from various strategies in order to solve a particular problem. They can also share their learning with others and receive feedback on how to perform better. Since they are highly goal-oriented, the students collaborate closely and work together.

Minecraft Education

With Minecraft being one of the most popular video games in the world, the Minecraft Education Edition also promises to be a great tool for teachers and students alike. The students participate in group activities that encourage creativity and innovation. The ‘game’ also brings an interactive atmosphere which promotes collaboration while learning.

Makers Empire

Makers Empire encourages students to critically think and analyze problems. In this manner, they collaborate closely together to achieve the goal. This tool is particularly for students of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and exposes young kids to these concepts.

What is collaborative virtual learning?

Through collaborative virtual learning, students learn through online groups. They may use different tools that are meant specifically for education or they may also use collaboration tools. This has become highly popular with the increasing popularity of distant learners.

What is collaboration in a classroom?

Collaboration in a classroom setting occurs when several students work together to learn a particular concept. This has many advantages including better information retention, improved social skills and an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem.

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Citations

https://wabisabilearning.com/blogs/technology-integration/6-online-collaboration-tools-engage-students

https://www.eduflow.com/blog/online-collaborative-learning-strategies-to-keep-students-engaged-while-at-home

https://teaching.cornell.edu/resource/examples-collaborative-learning-or-group-work-activities

Top 3 Collaboration Activities for your eLearning Course

https://kb.ecampus.uconn.edu/2020/11/09/collaborative-group-learning-example-uses-and-supporting-technologies/

https://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/resources/collaborative-activities-for-online-learning

https://ctl.columbia.edu/resources-and-technology/teaching-with-technology/teaching-online/collaborative-learning-online/

https://www.open.ac.uk/blogs/learning-design/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Collaborative-activities-booklet-V2.5.pdf