Benefits of Collaborative Learning

The aim of collaborative learning is to help students develop skills that enable them to work in groups and as a consequence developing social and emotional skills as well. This has an effect of increasing the confidence of learners in sharing their knowledge. Complex ideas are presented on the table and broken down in easily understandable ideas. Collaborative learning develops higher-level thinking skills in dealing with the complex and tactical problem. Students are forced to think further and broadly and they even do some research on basic topics hence improving their learning and research skills. Because students are actively involved in contributing their ideas on the topics, they get a chance of expressing their opinion, which may be incorporated or left out in the group’s final decision. This therefore develops students’ confidence and as result increases self esteem and ways in which students improve their ways of making decisions.

Collaborative learning develops communication skills of student thereby exposing them to interaction and mingling together when exchanging ideas. Students may also get an advantage of learning new languages. Studies show that students that engage in collaborative learning have a high level of retention compared to those who study alone secretly as they can remember what they have learned in groups for a long time long. Student- teacher interaction is promoted in collaborative learning because the student can as well be the teacher and the teacher be the student and thereby promoting friendship and casting away the fear of the authoritative teacher.

Collaborative learning reduces classroom boredom, laziness and anxiety since all students are actively involved as compared to when the teacher is teaching whereby some students may be quiet and out of class mentally. Therefore, the system creates an active environment for learning. Students believing in themselves promote their ability to produce and expect excellent work. Diversity understanding is encouraged and students can work with all types of people they meet in the outside world. In the course of learning through groups, students are able to listen to the ideas presented by their peers and are therefore able to analyze them critically as well as responding to any issues raised. Students can add their opinion on issues based on their cultural differences and this in return helps the students to understand other cultures better. Because of individual differences, different students will have different opinions on responses regarding to the question asked and this will create a wide rage of perspectives and hence more comprehensive ideas. Students develop responsibility of each other because they learn to relate as they work together in groups. This helps the students who have a problem in socializing and they benefit by interacting with others. Through debate and discussion, students think critically and clarify their ideas respectively.

Challenges of Collaborative Learning
Research shows that learning in groups might be based on both gender and racism such as cases where boys do better in sciences and mathematics subjects excluding girls who might as well be potential good performers. This dominance of boys discourages female students in group participation lowering the environment of effective learning. Conflicts prevent learning in collaborative learning due to personal interest and over-domination of student who think their ideas are the best and should be given priority or be adopted. As a result, teachers should make sure that their students do not differ in resolving their problems as this will create hatred among themselves. Much of information that a group comes up with gives an individual difficulties in compiling the work if a group project is to be graded at a group level. Problems that arise when members fail to agree may cause a greater problem to the group. Where collaborative learning is a must, assembling group members at a specific time, especially distance learners is a major disadvantage of the entire group. Some individual do not feel comfortable in participating in a group because of shyness and fear of critics and this will bar the individual from benefitting from collaborative learning. 

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