Element 3: Collaboration

There are 5 Elements to an Agile Classroom. This post will describe the third element, Collaboration. Collaboration is the process in which learners work together in achieving their goals. Collaboration can be viewed as type of scaffolding in itself, as learners support one another towards deeper knowledge. As learning challenges grow more complex, the more diverse and collaborative the interactions of learners need to be in order to solve them.

The Collaboration Dial

An Agile Classroom uses four degrees of collaboration. Like a dial, you can adjust these levels of collaboration based on the challenge, capacity, and goals of your classroom.

1. Connect
Learning Goals: Individual responsibility and accountability
Learning Activities: Individual responsibility and accountability
Grouping: None
Duration: a few minutes
Interaction: Inform others
2. Cooperate
Goals: Individual responsibility and accountability
Tasks: Individual responsibility and accountability
Grouping: Informal/Ad-hoc. Usually Pairs/Triads
Duration: a few minutes to entire class period.
Interaction: Inform others with light consultation
3.  Coordinate
Goal: Group responsibility, individual accountability
Tasks: Individual responsibility and accountability.
Groups: Formal group; usually 4-5 members.
Duration:Semi-permanent; length of an assignment/project
Interaction: Inform and consult one another
4. Collaborate
Goal: Whole group responsibility and accountability
Tasks: Whole group and accountability
Groups: Base teams; usually 4-5 members
Duration: Permanent; throughout the course
Interaction: Shared ownership, highly supportive

Turning the Collaboration Dial of Deeper Learning

To help you choose the dial in the appropriate level of collaboration for learning, we can map these levels to Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. The deeper you go, the more important collaboration becomes.

Thanks to John Walkup, PhD at the Standarsco.com for his research in this area.

Collaboration Card Deck

For your creative use, you can download the Collaboration Card Deck . It is useful for planning your collaboration levels, making the level of collaboration visible, and playing Collaboration Poker (a future post) with students to reach consensus on the desired collaboration level.

Leave a Comment