“Collaborative working: The act of two or more people or organizations working together for a particular purpose.”
The Cambridge Business English Dictionary
Nowadays, we are starting to implement methodologies of collaborative work in the classroom. Behind this concept lies the idea that students should be prepared to serve society and to meet the demands of their future workplace. This will require our students to be trained in certain contents and skills, for which the development of multiple intelligences is necessary. In that manner, science subjects entail an appropriate framework in which our students can grow and get ready for the future. In order to turn our students into science communicators, we will have to train them in developing a set of different skills.
Collaborative work methodologies applied to any project or activity require forming teams interconnected with each other. Within each team, different roles should be defined according to the objectives to be achieved. By organizing scientific dissemination activities we can achieve, not only involving the whole class, but also an entire educational community, thus extending the concept of educational community.
In short, we might consider the following guidelines or project structure: (In this case, we are going to apply to a “Science communication” project)
- Approach to the activity / project
- Identification of the tasks
- Formation of groups and organization of roles within each group
- Implementation of the project
- Review / assessment
- Rethinking activities
In each of the steps and processes will be subject to reviews and assessments. New tasks will appear. Example: Group of writers. Doubts arise, how do we send articles to the managers of a blog? In what format? What topics do we write about? Then, the role of “group coordinator” will appear, responsible for communicating with other groups and creating the operating organization.
The initial distribution and team building structure can be the following:
- Blog Managers: their role is to design and maintain the blog. They will upload the articles received from the writers.
- Writers: they are responsible for developing science news (from more or less general topics suggested largely by the teacher-coordinator). Keeping the style of each author, entries must have a specific structure:
- Designers: they should analyze the aesthetics of the blog (subject), the elements to be included and how they are distributed. In addition, they will be designing or suggesting designs for logos, elaborating posters, etc.
- TV Program: Development of video-documentaries on different science areas.
- Radio Programme or podcast. The teams work in developing podcasts on scientific issues. In each team there will be a speaker who will introduce the program as well as the other reporters.
- Project managers: analyze suggestions, new ideas, project representatives, etc.
This is a way to learn science (and more) through dissemination of science content and a way to be in contact with the external environment by extending the concept of traditional class.Finally, to reflect on these ideas, below you will find an interpretation of the pyramid of learning:
- ScienceBur Dissemination Blog
- Collaborative learning – Journey to Excellence
- Scientix-FECYT Blog. Divulgación. Innovación en la enseñanza de las ciencias
Article written by: Miguel Angel Queiruga, Scientix Deputy Ambassador