In today’s increasingly digitalized world, online collaborative spaces have become an invaluable tool for educators looking to engage their students and facilitate meaningful learning in the classroom.
These collaborative spaces offer an interactive platform to discuss, collaborate, and conduct research – all while providing a sense of classroom community and purpose. The following are some tips on how to effectively use collaborative spaces in the classroom:
1. Establish Ground Rules
Before beginning to use any online collaborative space, it is important to set expectations for students’ behavior and ensure the rules of online etiquette are understood by all. This includes setting rules for the discussion topics, spelling and grammar, maintaining a respectful tone, and avoiding cyberbullying.
2. Encourage Active Participation
One advantage of using collaborative spaces is the ability to monitor student engagement. Encourage students to take an active role in the discussion by asking questions, joining conversations, and providing feedback to each other. This can be done through polls, surveys, comments, and other activities.
3. Leverage Different Collaboration Tools
To maximize collaboration, it’s important to leverage different tools and features within the online space. For example, students can use collaborative documents, whiteboards, and project boards to discuss and present their ideas. Additionally, features like screen sharing and video conferencing allow students to interact in real time and provide immediate feedback. Check out Craft's selection of free tools for students including our group assignment workspace template.
4. Assign Projects and Assess Collaborations
Collaborative spaces can be used to assign group projects and facilitate collaboration between students. Assigning projects that require collaboration can help students build teamwork skills while also giving them an opportunity to learn from one another. Additionally, these projects can be used to assess student progress and their understanding of the material.
5. Involve Parents
Involving parents in the classroom can be one of the most effective ways to engage students and increase the success of online collaborative spaces. Parents can participate in discussions, provide feedback, and help guide their children toward success. Involving parents in the process can also help build a stronger connection between them and their children.
Online collaborative spaces can be an effective tool for creating a safe and engaging learning environment. By setting expectations and creating engaging activities, educators can foster collaboration and help students develop the skills needed to succeed in an increasingly digitalized world.