ERIC Number: ED411023
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Collaborative Learning in Community Colleges. ERIC Digest.
Collaborative learning refers to small-group instruction that incorporates five elements: clear, positive interdependence among students; group self-evaluation; interpersonal behaviors that promote each member's learning; individual accountability; and frequent use of small-group social skills. These elements have been implemented in colleges across the country. "As Worlds Collide," a culture and community course at Central Arizona College, has combined history, social psychology, and communications studies. Learning outcomes have included improved writing and social skills and awareness of others' values and beliefs. In a science literacy course at Indiana's Ivy Tech State College, active, problem-based learning and critical thinking skills were taught. Responses to student surveys indicated enthusiasm for the teaching method. New Jersey's Brookdale Community College enhanced a public speaking course with group activities related to research and presenting speeches. While post-course surveys found that teachers felt that none of the anticipated benefits had accrued, students felt that the course helped reduce performance anxiety. Kansas Community College also undertook a study of collaborative sociology and psychology courses, finding no significant differences between grades among 50 students in collaborative courses and 100 in traditional classes. Finally, the "History of Western Civilization" course at Alabama's Calhoun Community College used collaborative learning and learning contracts. Students responded positively but many failed to meet their own set goals. While collaborative learning may be an effective teaching method, meeting teacher and student expectations depends upon program structure and student participation. (JDI)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Community Colleges, Los Angeles, CA.