Thursday, May 25, 2006

You call that collaborative?

I sat in on a strategic planning meeting at a small college earlier this week. After the presentations we broke out into several work groups, each group had its own topic. I enjoyed my group, but wished I had been placed in the group charged with brainstorming about collaborative learning. When we gathered together the share our ideas, the collaborative group - made up of mid level non-academic administrators could only offer the idea of student internship.

An internship can be wonderful experiences for some students, but thinking back to my summer internship, I can remember nothing collaborative about the experience. I did get quite good at stuffing envelopes and making coffee however.

With so many new buzz words flooding the learning landscape, I'm not surprised by their ideas. But I wonder, if you were pressed for a list of five things you could recommend to add a collaborative learning element to higher education, what would you propose?


Blogger J Hart said...

Amy, How exciting and perhaps frustrating at the same time. But you have foudn a way outside of the environment to brainstorm about CL. I'm not sure if the following is want you are hoping to garner but here's how I would proceed. I'd do some research and ask lots of questions before I dared to make a recommendation. Below are a few examples of actions I'd take:

1.) get to know my cohort of students.
2.) what are my students learning goals?
3.) what are my students professional goals?
4.) what gets them jazzed up and to class every week, what's their passion?
5.) where do they see themselves in five years?

Yes, in some ways this may sound more like an interview than suggestions on CL, but before I can add CL experiences for my students, I need to understand my students and their direction.
Yes, I can set build relationships with local and regional businesses or tap into the local chamber or rotary club to generate some wonderful CL experiences, but before I can effectively make those arrangements, I need to know my customers (students) and their perceived needs and wants.

Do you understand where I'm going wiht this?

1:08 AM  

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