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Collaboration

While community is about providing the opportunities for students to learn about each other, interact, and form lasting team relationships, collaboration is about teaching each team member how to be individually productive.

In the classroom, there are many collaboration tools, a few of which were mentioned above (eg. TPS and PBL) which may be used to provide the students the opportunity to work cooperatively. Along with these techniques, the students should be provided with the roles in which each might serve to keep the team on task. It often serves well to have one student serve the more technical role (driver) and the other a more managerial role (navigator...or perhaps devil's advocate). Some tasks of fairly low technical difficulty should be interspersed to provide multiple team members an opportunity to change roles.

Outside the classroom, there are other tools to allow for productive collaboration. Using a course WIKI to complete a project would allow for different members of the team to provide varying methods of participation within a project. A less technical team member could be in charge of initiating the web page, populating it with "standard materials" like the title, goal, and methods to be used in the project and even initiating a journal for tracking the progress of the project. Another team member may be responsible for writing up the technical aspects of the project while a third member verifies that the explanation is complete yet simple.

Accountability (old school 'countability? )

Community and Collaboration provide the opportunity and structure for working as a team. Accountability ensures that they do so each time they are asked to do so. Of course accountability is provided when students are expected to perform well on course assessments like exams, homework and laboratory assignments, but they should also be expected to be accountable for their day-to-day performance in lecture, especially as it pertains to community and collaboration and all aspects of Diversity Harnessing.

If a classroom has 10 or more teams and you are uniformly likely to call upon one of them in each lecture meeting, the team may recognize a low-likelihood of being called upon and choose not to diligently solve problems. In a 16-week semester course, there are roughly 30 lectures and they would only suffer the embarrassment of being called upon without an answer 3 times!

One answer is not to have a team present an entire solution, but rather have multiple teams offer portion of the solution consecutively. Another idea would be to call upon different teams to present a summary of their solutions...being careful to have them prepare the summary first and present it to you rather than allowing them to say, "Yeah, that's what I had too." Another possibility is to not present any solution, but have the teams all hand them in and allow you to choose a solution from among them while providing a grade to each team based on EFFORT!

Automatic accountability: two steps forward, one step back?

One of my greatest successes was also a partial failure...at first. In 2010, we mapped a great number of assignments to the Lon Capa learning management system so that accountability for completion of the assignments could be automated by the software's auto-grading capability. This worked well and contributed to generating free time for the TAs. Unfortunately, I was not prepared for two things. First of all, the TAs were generally not prepared or motivated for generating materials from the Diversity-Harnessing Questions. Instead, I took the opportunity to have them build a small set of laboratories that I considered to be missing from the curriculum. Unfortunately, defining the goals and many details of these labs also took away from my own time needed for facilitating formation of DHQ into course materials. Secondly, the online assignments were generally viewed as an independent venture and not a team exercise...and true, I wanted each student to finish their own set of problems to gain the expertise needed for the exams. But, unfortunately, a large sense of collaboration was lost as students are far more comfortable working in teams on hand-written assignments. This later problem was solved, in part, by ensuring that each week's assignment contained both an on-line component and a more-challenging written component, the latter of which could be completed as a team. Often that written component was based on the DHQ.

Having the written portion of the weekly assignment based on the DHQ provided accountability for myself! It requires quick turn around on each week's Diversity Harnessing questionnaire in order to be prepared to write and post an assignment based on that material.

Questions & Answers

a diagram of an adult mosquito
mubarak Reply
what are white blood cells
Mlungisi Reply
white blood cell is part of the immune system. that help fight the infection.
MG
what about tissue celss
Mlungisi
Cells with a similar function, form a tissue. For example the nervous tissue is composed by cells:neurons and glia cells. Muscle tissue, is composed by different cells.
Anastasiya
I need further explanation coz celewi anything guys,,,
Calvin Reply
hey guys
Isala
on what?
Anastasiya
is air homogenous or hetrogenous
damiane Reply
homogenous
Kevin
why saying homogenous?
Isala
explain if oxygen is necessary for photosynthesis
Allice Reply
explain if oxygen is necessary for photosynthesis
Allice Reply
Yes, the plant does need oxygen. The plant uses oxygen, water, light, and produced food. The plant use process called photosynthesis.
MG
By using the energy of sunlight, plants convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen by photosynthesis. This happens during the day and sunlight is needed.
NOBLE
no. it s a product of the process
Anastasiya
yet still is it needed?
NOBLE
no. The reaction is: 6CO2+6H20+ solar energy =C6H12O6(glucose)+602. The plant requires Carbon dioxyde, light, and water Only, and produces glucose and oxygen( which is a waste).
Anastasiya
what was the question
NOBLE Reply
joining
Godfrey
the specific one
NOBLE
the study of non and living organism is called.
Godfrey
Is call biology
Alohan
yeah
NOBLE
yes
Usher
what Is ecology
Musonda Reply
what is a cell
Emmanuel Reply
A cell is a basic structure and functional unit of life
Ndongya
what is biolgy
Hawwi Reply
is the study of living and non living organisms
Ahmed
may u draw the female organ
MARTIN Reply
i dont understand
Asal
:/
Asal
me too
DAVID
anabolism and catabolism
Sani Reply
Anabolism refers to the process in methabolism in which complex molecules are formed "built" and requires energy to happen. Catabolism is the opposite process: complex molecules are deconstructed releasing energy, such as during glicolysis.
Anastasiya
Explain briefly independent assortment gene .
Otu Reply
hi
Amargo
hi I'm Anatalia
Joy
what do you mean by pituitary gland
Digambar
draw and lable the cell
Ameh Reply
why homones are destroyed soon after completing their role
Nyirenda Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Diversity harnessing: content personalization for engaging non-stem students in stem topics. OpenStax CNX. Jun 21, 2013 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11439/1.8
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