Collaboration is a common place where people are engaged in some useful activities to achieve a common goal. Collaboration can be done in any workplace, education or other purpose where all people lead to achieve a common goal.
TYPES OF COLLABORATION:
Collaboration could be categorized into two types;
The synchronous collaboration includes meeting or engaging people in real-time or via instant messages, and it may be through Skype.
This collaboration can be time taking because it is not instant. Once the document or file is uploaded, people involved in collaboration might access it according to their convenience.
Team collaboration includes engagement among people of a specific team. The team might have some skillset to achieve a particular task. Team collaboration is done to make the team more efficient, and once they end up with the task, they can be dispersed from the team’s circle. The task of a team leader is to bring collaboration among the team members so that they would have a sense of achievement and emotions at the same time.
When we talk about digital platforms to collaborate, we mean to bring all the digital tools into one platform so that all the people involved in collaboration can easily access their required files and documents easily and conveniently. This procedure of binging all relevant stuff in one place will increase the efficiency and productivity of people because they will not have to open the desired apps again and again.
Cross-functional means all the departments in the organization; when the vertical hierarchy of the workplace collaborates with each other to achieve a common goal, it is said to be cross-functional collaboration. A digital platform grants a place where cross-functional collaboration could be offered in almost all avenues to work accordingly.
Why are higher institutions choosing collaboration now?
In the previous era, when we put glanced at higher educational institutions, we could have found few universities and colleges. The demerit of this small size was the declining revenue and increment of costs. In fact, in those small sizes, there were only a few students to be chased for higher education. When this small ratio of students was observed, institutions started giving discounts to attract more and more customers. To encounter all these problems and to facilitate students at large collaboration is now a trend prevailing in educational institutions as well.
How does collaboration play a significant role in higher education?
Decades ago, there was a stereotyped system being followed in higher education. In recent years it has been found that there are critical long-term challenges being faced by higher education. Does the question arise, why is this happening so? The answer is the lack of collaboration in higher education. In the era when these higher institutions were quite rigid while designing their strategies, they are now focusing on taking collaboration into account. They are also more indulged in partnerships on a higher level that was never seen at the educational level.
Collaborative learning in higher education is done in peer to peer and in large groups also. In peer-to-peer, a small group of students are engaged in solving the problems and finding the conclusion. It is a good concept that two or more heads are better than one; similarly, within one educational institution, there are numerous groups in this regard will be helpful to a large extent. In peer-to-peer collaboration, students are more likely to work in a better way because they are meant to be together to find solutions to each other misunderstandings.
Following are the roles played by collaboration in higher education:
Interesting and deep learning:
Researchers have shown that collaborative learning may help in experiencing different knowledge because everybody’s mind is different. Furthermore, it has helped in deeper learning so far. As collaborative learning is new in this era, a student can hire someone to take my online course to be more efficient and productive at the time of collaboration.
Development of critical thinking:
Instead of solo learning, collaborative learning helps adults in deeper and critical thinking that is more likely to lead to efficient problem-solving. This phenomenon of collaborative learning in higher education helps in developing oral communication, leadership skills and many other positive characteristics.
When adult students see these advanced learning techniques, they find it more productive. There is a sense of a high level of self-esteem in them because they may see many personality developments within this process.
Exposure to diverse topics:
When students start learning in groups, they are never sat back with the rigid ideas of the rigid topics they have to cover, but when they collaborate with each other, they have a lot more to say and think on diverse topics. The exposure is given to their minds, and gradually they become intellectual.
The practice of real life:
Initially, collaboration was only seen in organizations, but introducing this concept in real life is actually a pre-practice for students. They might not face difficulty in their practical life when they have to work collaboratively with their employees. They might know how to resolve problems and how to work along to achieve a common goal.
Some considerations to be taken for collaborative learning in higher education:
Although collaborative learning helps a lot in higher education, there are some considerations that must be taken into account to implement this strategy;
- Make groups or peers at the start of the semester so that students might not have a problem in the mid of it
- Set some rules and principles to work in those groups so that students might not work haphazardly
- Explain to students about their behaviour rating in the groups
- Make students aware of the team-building qualities and introduce them to self-reflection tactics
- Always make written contracts and take the signature of all students, to mark them responsible for any mismanagement that happens in the group.
- Infuse self-assessment tools so that every group member may evaluate himself
Collaborative learning plays an essential role in higher education. Institutions must opt for this strategy as it can quickly work to boost the energy and productivity of students. Collaboration may strengthen educational institutions at large, making them a reputable institution globally. Conclusively, educational institutions can adopt this strategy by following rules and regulations and contributing to self-cooperation rather than self-retrenchment.