CL1 - FAQs: "My students need to work independently."













"My students need to work independently."

The short answer to this question is "Yes, students need to learn the skill of working independently." But a different question might be, "Does collaborative learning prevent my students from developing these skills?"

When incorporated into a course with care, collaborative learning can be a vehicle for students to learn the material. It can provide a structure so students are not, and do not feel, isolated. It can provide a platform for vigorous discussions and debates and a means to develop a framework of knowledge.

The instructor can create a situation where individual responsibility is built into the collaborative model used in the course. For instance, a project that requires all team members' participation for success coupled with some individual tasks might be a good starting point to assure individual responsibility and some independent skills. Another approach to develop these skills would be to require each student to teach a concept to his or her group.

It is also noteworthy to ponder whether independent skills are mandated in a typical lecture-based course. Many students initiate collaborative study groups as a survival technique. These may or may not promote independent learning skills, depending how the group is structured. Those who don't form groups and have to rely only on their independent skills, may not survive the course.

Doing CL
More Info