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Collaboration in Virtual Classrooms during COVID-19

Talking about the 5Cs in education, namely Collaboration, Creativity, Critical thinking, Cooperation and Communication, is the bridge between all the other skills as it paves the way for sustainable path of innovation. It not only helps in fostering the spirit of team work but simultaneously prepare our current and future learners for the unseen, unknown and unpredictable scenario like the current times where the world is affected by a global pandemic, COVID-19.

The education industry is not immune and the worst affected are the teachers who across the globe are busy creating the same atmosphere for students as it would be in classroom by transforming virtual classroom into collaborative spaces to foster the 21st century skills. Teacher preparedness is a critical aspect in achieving the desired outcomes which depends on learning resources and instructional design. Choosing the appropriate technological tool for student engagement is the first step towards it.

Tools like Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Flipgrid, Wakelet, GetKahoot, Play Craft learn will work in this regard. Once the tool is decided upon it’s time to establish group goals, build trust and promote open communication. Activities like online assemblies, talent hunts, cooking classes, storytelling, group discussions, quizzes are a few to name, these activities are engaging, stimulating multi-layered and helps the teacher establish social-emotional connect benefiting the teaching learning process. Not to forget that student self-directedness and motivation along with student satisfaction is also an integral part of this exercise which can in turn be achieved by feedback and assessment. The assessment could be done by using rubrics where the learning outcomes and activity expectations are clearly mentioned. Hence a kind of a reflective process will be created where students are able to reflect on their own learned knowledge and experiences.

Therefore by focusing on qualitative education through collaboration every child is treated as individual yet a part of a group working for his/her own good and society. Lastly one may conclude that Collaboration is an advantageous pedagogy which results in heightened engagement and increased retention in students.

Inputs By: Kaushal Sen Mathematics Educator and Teach SDGs Ambassador Presentation; Convent Sr Sec School, Delhi 110006

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