An introduction to thematic learning

Collaboration in the classroom

Management is one of the most complicated tasks that a teacher has. When working collaboratively on large-scale projects such as the DEMETER project, it is important to efficiently manage human capital in the classroom, which is the students.

When creating groups of students the teacher always have to think about the workflow. Members of each group must be carefully chosen and roles and tasks established so that information and work flow synchronously in the best possible way. Sometimes the group management is the most complicated task, but the teacher’s knowledge of the group can help a lot to make the groupings a success.

We must bear in mind that when students group together, the system often does not work or they always work in their comfort zone and do not interact with other classmates with whom they have less affinity.

Whenever groups are created, the teacher should choose them and should assign tasks and roles to each individual within the group. If this is not done, the work will always come out due to the effort of a few. Sometimes the roles and tasks can be assigned by the students themselves but with the criteria and supervision of the teacher.

Let’s imagine a company in which the director or manager of the same said: “Well guys, there you have the machines, get to work as a group as you like and if you think it is appropriate, choose or remove your group managers.” That company seems that it will not be well managed, it will lack some coordination.

Another thing to keep in mind is that people tend to group together and work well in pairs. There are many examples in the sport (pilot and co-pilot, dance partners, tennis doubles, beach volleyball, bobsleigh, etc.). Therefore, groups of 2 people, 4 people or at most 6 people will surely work better. In the case of groups of 4 and 6 people, care must be taken as to how the collaboration will be managed if part of the work is to be done in pairs.

When working with large groups (4 or more people) the most efficient grouping in class by experience is the departmental organization. As in companies, groups (departments) will be established and each group will be assigned roles, tasks and the teacher will be responsible for the flow of work and communication.

Tip: when you have very large groups, the departmental grouping may be the most suitable solution.

The Demeter Project