Collaborative Learning among Universities by Naikumi mary, Lecturer Curriculum and Instruction at the Faculty of Science, department of Education Mbarara University of Science and Technology
The concept of Collaborative Learning involves a process of identifying potential partners with whom to work with to create a pool of knowledge and platforms for exchange of knowledge and skills. The term Collaborative Learning refers to an innovative instruction method in which learners at various performance levels work together through small groups to achieve a common learning objective. (Naikumi 2011).
Proponents of Collaborative learning claim that the active exchange of ideas within small groups increases participant’s interests and critical thinking. It is a mode of Instruction that involves students working in teams in order to achieve a common goal. (Johnson,Johnson, and Smith, 1991).
The following are the benefits of Collaborative Learning approach:
Development of higher levels of thinking skills and abilities among learners; this is realized out of the interaction that takes place among the learners given the different knowledge levels. All are challenged to think better for individual and mutual benefits.
Promotion of student-faculty interactions, the learners benefit from the faculties available in the collaboration network. This facilitates the knowledge bank.
Increases student retention of knowledge and skills as a result of the mode of work that facilitates retention of knowledge acquired because the learners are key participants in the learning process.
Self esteem of the learners is built, in that the success of collaboration learning relies on the learners themselves, so they gain confidence in the process of interaction.
Enhancement of learners’ satisfaction with the learning, experience. Collaborative learning puts the learners in a center place of the learning experiences and they contribute much in terms of determining how they learn and when they learn.
Develops social interaction skills,. this comes along with Bandura’s Social interaction theory of learning.
Promotes positive race relations, this clearly seen when it happens among different countries or across nations.
Creates an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning, Learners are able to be fully engaged in the learning process.
For more details read about the Collaboration net work among four Universities in Africa and one in German. Web page: education-africa.com