Collaborative learning

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Collaborative learning is an educational approach which promotes interaction among students, as well as between students and teachers.

Lage, Platt, and Tregalia found that incorporating collaborative learning in an introductory economics course resulted in positive feedback from both student and instructor. Instructors integrated collaborative learning by conducting economic experiments, by starting class asking if the students had any questions, and by allowing students to get into groups, discuss material, and then present their material to the class. After the course, a survey was conducted where students rated various aspects of the course on a scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). "The statement "The experiments illustrated basic economic concepts" received an average score of 4.2 (35)." In addition to this, the students' feedback comments included the following statements:

"I really liked the demonstrations and the group work - they helped me to really see the concepts, much better than a lecture would, and I could better visualize something I'd seen rather than heard-that was a big plus for tests(35)."

"As for the class itself, I loved the way it was run! The groups were very effective-it helped to have your peers explain things to you in a different way that sometimes made more sense. Also, it was easier to get to know your classmates and made for a very comfortable environment. I liked the "hands on" approach (35)."

Instructors also provided posititve feedback during the study. "Both instructors also noted that students generally enjoyed working together and seemed to learn from having other students explain concepts in different ways...In general, students were more comfortable asking questions in class, probably because of teh many opportunites for one-on-one interaction with the instructore...From the insturcotrs' perspective, the course was considerably more stimulating to teach...(37).