Boosting Student Engagement and Achievement during Collaborative Learning

Credit: iStock.com/Ridofranz
Credit: iStock.com/Ridofranz
Many of us know by now that didactic lecture is incongruent with student learning: receiving information passively tends to disengage students, which is likely to result in undesirable learning outcomes. Even though lecture remains the predominant form of teaching, collaborative learning has been a popular educational approach representing a significant shift away from the traditional lecture-centered setting in college classrooms. In collaborative learning, students work in groups, focus on exploring the course materials, and search for understandings and solutions, all of which are effective ways to motivate and help students engage in effortful thinking and active learning (Laal & Ghodsi, 2012). But it is also common that students in collaborative learning may have off-topic discussions, frustrate themselves, and even feel like they’re wasting their time. To overcome such drawbacks, the instructor can step away from the lectern and move around the classroom during collaborative learning.

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