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Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking Education Essay

These times learning separately or in traditional ways aren't as powerful and successful compare to learning in collaboration through discourse and teamwork. Cooperation shows an exchange of new ideas and writing of knowledge that can mediate college student learning and enhance critical thinking as they sort out in different collaborative learning environment. This newspaper demonstrates the provision of collaborative activities that may be effective in expanding student's critical thinking skills. First, I discuss the conceptual description of both collaborative learning and critical thinking followed by the types of collaborative learning those can usually be categorize into two types, Technology recognized and face-to-face collaborative learning (Resta & Laferriere, 2007). The primary focus of this newspaper is to provide an knowledge of technology supported collaboration that helps foster individual's lively learning and critical thinking. This paper also illustrates a relevant exemplory case of interactive collaborative learning environment i. e. technology mediated interactive environment

Collaborative Learning

Roschelle and Teasley (as cited in Resta & Laferriere, 2007) stated that in collaborative instructional environment individuals are working collectively in groups to be able to achieve a common goal. Johnson & Johnson (as cited in Resta & Laferriere, 2007) define that through the collaboration participant in teams aren't only develop communication skills but also responsible for their own and each other's learning.

Critical thinking

The ability to think critically is important nowadays and as we realize that world is getting more complex, knowledgeable and complex then before. The individuals need to comprehend and find out new principles critically and diversely. However there is no proper or standardize explanation of critical thinking because everyone has different perspective of expression 'critical'. Some thoughts about critical thinking are related to the argumentation, problem fixing, decision making or reasoning so forth. But many psychologists have proposed classification of critical thinking is a cognitive skill that assist person to think more in-depth which led them on the desirable outcome. It will involve reasoning, problem fixing, offer alternative justification and draw wise decision on the certain problem (Halpern, 2003).

Types of Collaborative Learning

In the types of collaborative learning environment which involves interaction where every individual shares their own ideas and discuss confirmed problem. The converse or discourse is most significant thing in collaborative work in order to make a collective decision. Aulls. M, (2010), identify the various kind of talks in collaborative environment. By far the most successful and healthy have a discussion is exploratory conversation, in which individuals' divergent considering take place with meaningful dialogue among groups which led those to draw constructive conclusion on the main idea. However, there will vary types of collaborative learning environment which support the idea of learning through contribution e. g. CSCL (online), face-to-face (on-site) which play an important role in students cognitive development and also guide them into the accomplishment of final results (Resta, & Laferriere, 2007).

In current educational research the focused methodology for creating collaborative learning environment is technology supported collaborative learning (e. g. CSCL) whereas other environment or setting does support collaborative learning (Resta & Laferriere, 2007). Unlike CSCL, the Face-to-Face (onsite or class room) collaborative learning provides a localized (e. g. on-campus) environment for individuals to require in group interaction or in classroom discourse. Laurillard, (as cited in Resta & Laferriere, 2007) assessed "Multiple factors that are at play in face-to-face and online learning surroundings including pedagogical strategies, context, connections with peers and teachers, and examination. "(p. 68). In face-to-face collaborative learning, participant's occurrence is required in specified time and place for group connection and discourse to achieve desired solution of your problem. While CSCLs support versatility of the time and space to provide new exclusive place of work (e. g. distance learning or online classrooms) in which individuals have chance to show their work without being within specific place and time (Resta & Laferriere, 2007). Regardless of the variations are present in both collaborative learning conditions, which support individuals' cognitive performance, deep understanding of subject matter, problem-solving skills and high-order thinking (A. Breuleux, display notes, Sept 14, 2010).

Technology in Support of Collaborative Learning

In this technological world the educational content are no longer adhere to paper-based alternatively getting digital through different technological tools and software because technology gets control the responsibility of content. It is simple for everyone to access and control the substantial content digitally. In traditional coaching practice the instructor or teacher provides class room lectures through regular chalkboard or display slides that likewise incorporate paper-based materials. Within this learning environment you can find less relationship among students and teachers also they never get immediate reviews from the instructor when they are in impasses. Whereas incorporation of technology in support of collaborative learning not only create different methods of communications (asynchronous and synchronous) among individuals and peers in learning environment but also foster individuals' cognitive growth and their learning operations (Resta & Laferriere, 2007). In the field of learning technology the technology supported collaborative learning surfaced as a broadly accepted strategy or branch called Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), (Stahl, Koschmann, & Suthers, 2006). The recent studies on CSCL concentrate on methodologies and tools in creating efficient technology wealthy environment including different computer applications (websites, forums, building communities, and videoconferencing systems etc. ) to support collaborative learning (Resta & Laferriere, 2007). ICT has leverage to simplified and provide easy environment for learning with different methods of communication among peers either distance online learning or interactive class room.

The focus of this paper is to show how technology platform collaborative learning environment evolves critical thinking in individuals. Through literature we can certainly examine that technology affect learner's contribution and engagement which led them for the accomplishment of academic goals. However, there are few ideas revolved around the idea of collaboration takes part in learner's critical thinking. Resta & Laferriere, (2007) mentioned that the critical elements for effective CSCL will be the development of instructional goals targeted towards higher-order thinking skills and sophisticated problem solving. In addition to this, (A. Breuleux, presentation notes, September 14, 2010), share few instructional motives and benefits for the use of technology in support of collaborative learning which prepare students for the knowledge society, add versatility of energy and space for collaborative learning, foster scholar engagement and keep track of learner collaborative work, and improve learner academic achievements, development of higher order thinking skills and students satisfaction. The existing individual knowledge is not sufficient to make use of for the whole life, because world is changing daily and the occurrence of technology enforces individual to be always a part of more cultural interaction, discourse and up at this point with the new information. Hence technology quickly infused in our lives and changing the facet of learning. Technology isn't just accountable for individual's academic growth but also functions for increasing teacher's efficiency for example with the digital technology, teacher can find educational websites and integrate with this issue of instruction. It also enables to keep track of students' formative, summative assessment and provide them feedback. For example Bioworld computer founded learning environment by provide scaffolding to students related to the situations of patient and offer assistance where individual impasses in problem, (Lajoie, Lavigne, Guerrera, & Munsie, 2001). Currently there will vary technology supported learning environments used today that assist in cooperation e. g. e-learning, online distance education, interactive whiteboard etc. These learning conditions are designed based on learning experience from the learner's perspective and instructional requirements for instructors and classes. Each learning environment has its request and benefits as well as limits with respect to collaboration and students' learning skills. These learning skills may consists for example problem-solving skills, reasoning, sharing of knowledge among communities that students can learn in connection.

Considering variant of technology structured cooperation for example via computer workstation, only 1 person at the same time can display his work on big screen in the area because that person has right to control the info and no one else talk about the ideas on display screen. But these days interactive whiteboard learning environment facilitates increased conversation and cooperation where anyone can share, create, change and review information so everyone has a chance to contribute in group work. The IW can support better connections among students to enhance their learning skills and offer possibility to think or critic on others ideas. The huge benefits to using Interactive whiteboard is many-folded it provides collaboration, simple communication among individuals (learners), production, enhance problem-solving skills and view appearing ideas critically. In the analysis (Lajoie, Gauthier & Lu, 2009) looked into, the IW provide concurrent method by which learner can build knowledge in the context of professional medical reasoning and decision making with the joint group initiatives.


Collaborative way of learning is a broad section of research it addresses technology recognized collaborative learning environment which could be formal, casual, and non formal and face-to-face learning environment in real class room options. Both support students building knowledge through interaction and exchanging their thoughts widely and seriously concrete answer by having the consensus of group. Both face-to-face and technology backed collaboration pays to to foster individual's reasonable and critical thinking. At this platform they have opportunity to think about their own thoughts and control their learning by taking on-going assessment of own and others arguments. This newspaper support the thought of online or technology mediated collaborative learning is more good for learner cognitive growth than the face-to-face collaborative way of learning. It generally does not mean that face-to-face learning environment is not favourable in the introduction of students learning or cognitive thinking. Both collaborative learning surroundings have strengths towards students learning satisfaction, provision of scaffolding, and higher order of thinking skills, and complicated problem handling. Johnson et al(as cited in Resta & Laferriere, 2007)

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