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Introduction to “Implementing In-Person and Virtual Collaborative Opportunities”

Introduction to “Implementing In-Person and Virtual Collaborative Opportunities”

Author: Trisha Fyfe

This lesson introduces the core learning objectives relative to "Implementing In-Person and Virtual Collaborative Opportunities"

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Welcome to an introduction for the unit, implementing in-person and virtual collaborative opportunities. I'm Trisha Fyfe. And in this unit, we will take a deeper look at ways you as a teacher can create a collaborative teaching and learning environment in your classroom, using both in-person collaboration, as well as virtual collaboration tools. So let's first start by talking about why is collaboration essential for our students?

Students today, more than ever, need to have skills that will lead them to success in our world, a world now dependent on technology and the need to have skills and abilities, including communication and collaboration. It's so essential for our students to be able to work in group settings, both in person and in virtual settings. So what does this mean for teachers? How has collaboration changed in the classroom?

Again, with the rise of technology and integration of technology into the learning settings, we are seeing drastic changes. Students and society are relying on technology. And we're finding that bringing it into the classroom setting has many benefits. Collaboration can occur in so many different ways now-- social media, video conferencing, texting, using Google docs to chat with group members about a project, and the list goes on.

We need to reevaluate our role and the picture of what our classroom should look like. As we move through these video lessons in this unit, we work towards four main learning objectives. Let's take a look at the first of four learning objectives for this unit, which is to analyze the purpose of collaborative learning in problem-based learning, or PBL, writing, creating, and producing. We will look at the importance of collaboration and how collaborative learning benefits our students, including their levels of achievement.

In this unit, we will review problem-based learning, learning that is focused on students working towards a solution of a problem or challenge. This type of learning is inquiry-based. And students collaboratively guide their own learning as they create authentic products to share.

We will look at personalized learning, which is an alternative to the one size fits all model of teaching. This type of learning is authentic, flexible, and student-driven. We will discuss deeply the four C's, or 21st century skills, that are so essential for our students-- communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. And we will connect collaborative learning back to these four important skills in several different lesson throughout this unit.

The second learning objective is to analyze collaborative learning connected to Social Learning Theory and Networked Learning Theory. To do this, we'll ask ourselves, what is collaborative learning? What is Social Learning Theory? And what is Networked Learning Theory? We will discuss what collaborative group work looks like in the problem-based learning environment. Collaborative work in the problem-based learning classroom involves students working as a team, defining group roles and working together in person and virtually to solve an authentic problem together.

We will also discuss Social Learning Theory, a theory of Bandura's. Social Learning Theory is the idea that people learn from each other through observations, imitation, and modeling, and these interactions are reciprocal between three types of influences, cognitive, behavioral, and environmental. We will also explore Network Learning Theory. This theory is based around relationships. Network Learning Theory is the process of developing and maintaining connections to not only people, but also learning resources.

The third learning objective is to develop a problem-based learning activity that requires both in person and virtual collaboration. There will be one video lesson in this unit dedicated to walking you through how to use Understanding by Design's framework to create a lesson. We will take a deep look at how to evaluate your students' needs. And you will create your own lesson to reflect on.

We will recap all three stages in Understanding by Design, identify desired results, determine acceptable evidence, and create your own learning plan. You will use these three steps on my sample lesson as a guide to use backward planning in your own problem-based learning lesson that includes in-person and virtual collaboration.

Our final learning objective will be to reflect on how collaboration will support student achievement and growth in your classroom. Not only will we look back and reflect on the lesson that you've created, but we will also reflect on all of the benefits of collaborative learning. We will use Marzano's teacher education model, in particular domain three, reflecting on teaching as a tool to look at collaborative teaching and learning. We will also practice using reflection tools such, as plus, what went well, minus, what did not go well, and delta, what can we change to better our lesson?

The concepts that you will learn throughout these video lessons will apply to any environment where collaboration and learning are essential. This includes the classroom learning environment, as well as professional development, and most workplace settings where groups and collaboration are essential. As we move through the unit, you will see that the first two objectives, analyzing the purpose of collaborative learning and analyzing the connections of collaborative learning to Social Learning Theory and Network Learning Theory, are equally important to understand as you begin to piece collaborative learning together.

These two objectives will prepare you for creating your own lesson. And after creating your lesson, you will be prepared for reflecting on that lesson itself, as well as the extensive amount of information that we covered together, and how and why it will lead to greater student achievement in your classroom.

So let's review what we will learn in this unit. As you watching the video lessons, we will answer the following questions together. What is the purpose of collaborative learning and problem-based learning, writing, creating, and producing? How is collaborative learning connected to Social Learning Theory and Networked Learning Theory? How can you develop and reflect on a problem-based learning activity that requires both in-person and virtual collaboration? And finally, how can you reflect on how collaboration will support student achievement and growth in your classroom?

Again, I welcome you to the unit, implementing in person and virtual collaborative opportunities. We have so much to learn in this unit. And I'm excited to get started with you. I would like to invite you to join me by viewing each of the lessons for this unit as we learn in depth about the impacts of using collaborative learning in your teaching.

Notes on “Introduction to Implementing In-Person and Virtual Collaborative Opportunities”


(00:00- 00:22) Introduction/Objectives

(00:23- 01:30) Why is Collaboration Essential to the Classroom?

(01:31- 02:32) Objective 1

(02:33- 03:35) Objective 2

(03:36- 04:16) Objective 3

(04:17- 04:49) Objective 4

(04:50- 05:40) Connections Between Objectives

(05:41- 06:33) Recap