Collaboration is a mixed bag. We know all too well the familiar roles of group work. You have the one who does everything, the one who shows up at the end and gets credit, and the ones that do just enough to get by.
This is because we are doing collaboration all wrong.
We are at best teaching students how to cooperate, and at worst trying to ease our burden by grading 5, rather than 20, projects. Cooperation is a skillset that is more about “playing nice” and has little to do with what is possible when working with others. That is because working with others should allow for something amazing to happen. Whether it's 1st graders creating a stop-motion film about the monthly cycle of the moon, or a group of dreamers trying to create the next Uber spin-off, very little in the “real world” gets done solo. Now with that said, collaboration, like any tool, approach, or mindset, has a time and a place. With these 4 ideas in mind, you should have a new appreciation for collaboration’s role in your classroom.