learning diary Angela Colli

WHO AM I? I live and work in Pavia, Italy. I'm a Biology teacher. I’ve been collaborating with Crea (http://www.comune.pv.it/site/home/dai-settori-e-servizi/c.r.e.a..html) since 1995 and with Pavia University (SIS, TFA, PAS) since 1999. I’m president for Pavia of ANISN (National Association Science Teachers http://www.anisn.it/nuovosito/). In the academy years 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 I was in charge of the “Didactic laboratory” for pre-service teachers (TFA and PAS courses).


WHERE DO I TEACH? Pavia University and CREA. I teach Evironmental education to pupils 8-13 years old (CREA); Biology, Chemistry to pre-service teachers (Pavia University, and to and to )in-service teachers ANISN (National Association Natural Sciences Teachers).

INTRODUCTION: WHAT IS COLLABORATION?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WuC7xr8tzQ

This course has been created by CO-LAB (http:// colab.eun.org/), the project which this MOOC is a part of, is focused on making collaborative teaching and learning a reality in the classroom.

European Schoolnet is the network of 30 European Ministries of Education, based in Brussels. As a not- for-profit organisation, they aim to bring innovation in teaching and learning to Ministries of Education, schools, teachers, researchers and industry partners.

MODULE 1 What is collaborative learning?The learning objectives for this module are: Understand the full meaning of collaborative learning, and that it requires more than teachers simply putting students in groups.Appreciate the key benefits collaborative learning can bring to students and the specific skills it helps develop. Appreciate how collaborative learning can be facilitated by a flexible, interactive classroom, and also through project-based learning.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUJHqqvHHEQ

1.1 What is collaborative learning?This video explores what is meant by the term collaborative learning and summarizes the key benefits for students as well as the specific skills developed through it.What is collaborative learning?

What do you understand collaborative learning to mean? In your experience of implementing collaborative learning in the classroom, have you witnessed academic achievement, student attitudes, engagement and retention being enhanced? What about the skills mentioned in the video – have you witnessed your students develop these as a result of collaborative learning?

Collaborative Learning is a process through which learners at various performance levels work together in small groups toward a common goal. It is a learner-centred approach derived from social learning theories as well as the socio-constructivist perspective on learning. It develops positive interdependence, individual accountability, and interpersonal skills.

The teacher’s role is not to transmit information, but to serve as a facilitator for learning. This involves creating and managing meaningful learning experiences and stimulating learners’ thinking through real-world problems.https://padlet.com/eunacademy/90bb1hsa46pt

I learned that COLLABORATIVE LEARNING - when learners work in groups on the same task simultaneously, thinking together over demands and tackling complexities. Collaboration is here seen as the act of shared creation and/or discovery. Within the context of electronic communication, collaborative learning can take place without members being physically in the same location. http://www.unesco.org/education/lwf/doc/portfolio/definitions.htm

1.2 Collaborative learning in a flexible classroom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke1bcJ4ONfw

Is your classroom set-up flexible and interactive like the one shown in the video? Without necessarily having access to flexible classroom furniture, has the video inspired you to see how you might make your classroom environment more collaboration friendly? What about the technology and online tools used by the students; have you used these with your students and have they effectively facilitated collaborative learning? In italy not all classroom are like that of the video. My school,like others in Italy, has LIM, but not in all classrroom https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavagna_interattiva_multimediale .if a teacher wants to use digital tools, with all students he/she have to go to a laboratoty where there is Wifi. Unfortunately, the classrooms don't have flexible furniture and so when students work in groups, they have to move tables and chairs: very different from the school shown in the video.

1.3 Collaborative learning through project-based learning Project-based learning can facilitate effective collaborative learning in the classroom.Have you ever carried out a similar exercise to the ‘circle time’ described in this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyfBdV3_Bwk Where the teacher explicitly discusses with students how the group work went, what were the positive and negative aspects and what could be solutions for the future? If so, has this improved your students’ collaboration skills and have you seen evidence of this in collaborative work carried out afterwards? The teacher states that ‘Technology becomes useful in class especially when collaborative practices are used’. Do you agree, and why?' I have already used exercises similar to "circle time". I think is useful to improves student's skills, collaboration skills and evaluation skills as well. Technology becomes useful. For science teaching collaborative learning can be used in IBSE ((https://www.esera.org/media/esera2013/Martin_Linder_10FEB2014.pdf http://www.anisn.it/nuovosito/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/SID-develop-inquiry-based-science-education-in-italy-.pdf


1.4 A foreign language teacher’s experience of collaborative learning In this video an English language teacher explains to us her experience of carrying out collaborative learning with 14-19 year olds through a project-based approach and various online tools. She explains the challenges she has faced and offers some solutions and related questions for us to reflect on.n your experience of collaborative learning, is behavior management and getting students to stay on track a challenge? Do you agree that assessing collaborative learning is particularly difficult, and what are your experiences of this? How do you monitor teamwork? Do you find the ways mentioned in this video (e.g. through self and peer assessment) useful? What about the online tools mentioned?I think that self and peer assessment is really useful and often use it. I would use rubrics to assess group members individually and for the teamwork.Checklist for self-assessment of students’ collaborative skills and for peer-assessment of students’ collaborative skills. I think digital tools are very useful. I use Mindmaps and infgraphics http://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/infographics-and-mind-mapping/ A usefull tool is Padlet because the teacher can have students share exit responses as text and/or as hyperlinks..

1.5 A History & Geography teacher’s experience of collaborative learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCLnkDFJ4lI Have you experienced similar or different difficulties in collaborating with teachers, and if so why? Do you, like the teacher in this video, find it difficult to guarantee the quality of the collaboration that takes place between your students? What about the uneven efforts made by individual group members resulting in frustration for some students when it comes to assessment of the whole group ?It's not easy, but it can be exciting to collaborate with other teachers in the same school, in different schools (more difficult) in different countrieschallenging, Achieving a hight quality of collaboration between students is also a challenge,

Create a personal Learning Diary to log learning activities, reflections and resources from the course.Reflect in your Learning Diary on two learning activities and whether they require a low or high level of collaboration from studentsReflect on some recent learning activities you have carried out with your class in the past year, which have included some level of collaboration, and follow these steps. Select two of these learning activities; one which you think required a low level of collaboration from students, and one which you think required a high level of collaboration from students, descrbe them and in your Learning Diary explain why you think each activity requires a low or high level of collaboration from students.

One activity with a low level is a lesson where my students discuss about the meaning of the word "diet". Students in pairs are invited to ask questions each others and to reflect on the relationship between diet and environment. One activity with a high level is the students playing "MY PYRAMID” GAME. It is played in teams of 4-6 people. Each team appoints a group leader.Each team is given: the rules, an empty pyramid (large), a bag full of cards with various pictures (photos, drawings) of different food servings, two empty pyramids (small) one for foods and one for footprints. The scores related to the footprints of the food depicted are on the back of each card.Teams must build a pyramid with portions of different food groups for a boy or a girl of their age, using the portions of food that they have in the bag. The “diet” refers to a day. Students must choose a season and use foods (especially vegetables) of that season.They put cards of the different foods’ portions on the empty pyramid (large). For example: two tangerines on the first step (Group1) 1 bowl of rice on the second (Group 2) and so on. They have to put the foods in the group to which they belong for example: bread in the second group.When the pyramid is completed, they write in the small pyramid the name of all foods they chose, then they turn the cards, write on the small pyramid of the fingerprints the scores for the different servings, and calculate the sum for every food group and the total (daily footprints). Each choice is discussed within the group and the final product is the work of all.

Module 2: How can you design collaborative learning in the classroom?The learning objectives for this module are: Understand how to embed collaborative learning into lesson design. Appreciate the four dimensions of collaborative learning concerning group work, shared responsibility, making substantive decisions, and interdependent work. Understand how the 21st Century Learning Design Collaboration Rubric and Learning Scenarios can help you reflect and design collaborative learning activities.


2.2 Embedding collaborative learning into lesson design https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIrmKIbFZxo

the video features an extract from a workshop organized by the Irish National Council for Curriculum & Assessment as part of the CO-LAB project (http://colab.eun.org/).Do you agree about the importance to have a shared language concerning what we mean by collaborative learning? Do you agree that having collaborative skills is not a personality trait and that you can design learning activities to develop these skills in your pupils? Professor Butler mentions that ‘Technology can support new pedagogies that focus on learners as active participants with tools for inquiry-based pedagogies and collaborative work spaces’. Do you agree, and what are your experiences of this? I agree with Professor Butler "People don’t work in isolation, so how are you going to get people to work together with new information and solving unstructured problems. ... technology is ubiquitous, our connection is there, the actual push and drive from the world is actually pushing us into a space where we have to actually think about what learning looks like in a digital era. ....Technology can support new pedagogies that focus on learners as active participants with tools for inquiry-based pedagogies and collaborative work spaces ... I try to develop students' skills: involvents on dasks, negotiation, -conflict resolution ,listening to others ideas,working towards a common goal). Technology can help, but it isn't enough.

2.3 The 4 Collaboration Questions

This video features an extract from a workshop organized by the Irish National Council for Curriculum & Assessment as part of the CO-LAB project. Professor Deirdre Butler explains to teachers the 4 major questions it is necessary they ask themselves when designing a collaborative learning activity.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HruRO2RKKI0What do you think of the 4 major questions presented by Professor Deirdre Butler? Are they useful in helping you design a collaborative learning activity? Have you asked yourself these questions before when designing collaborative learning activities?

I ask myself the 4 questons: are they working together? do they share responsibility? do they make substantive decisions? is their work interdependent? It is necessary students share responsabilities. I agree with Professor Butler that "They may also have to make a decision about thehypotheses that they will test. So they are making substantive decisions about the content or they are making substantive decisions about the process, or they are making substantive decisions about the product that will develop in response to the task. And as they get more expert, you will actually beable to maybe give them the responsibility to decide maybe the process and the product

2.4 21 CLD Collaboration Rubric https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSj17W7kTgE How useful do you find the rubric Professor Deirdre Butler explained? Do you think it is useful in helping you understand the type and quality of collaboration taking place in the learning activities you design? Have you used this or similar rubrics before to help you design collaborative learning activities? What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of it?

I think it is necessary to use the rubric in the begging and for assessment afterwards

Assess the two collaborative learning activities you described in Module 1, using the 21 CLD Rubric, and report in your Learning DiaryAssess the two collaborative learning activities you described in Module 1, using the 21 CLD Rubric, and report in your Learning Diary

The 4 Collaboration Questions:

1. Are they working together?

2. Do they have shared responsibility?

3. Are they making substantive decisions?

4. Is their work interdependent?

According the 21CLD framework and rubric I found that: the first activity is level 2 since the students do work together but they haven't shared responsability, the second can be level 4

I learned that: collaboration is not easy: https://padlet.com/eunacademy/d73o3audwzy6 I think social media networks are essential for teacher collaboration and professional learning. What emerging digital technologies are you aware of that can help teachers collaborate more efficiently?I didn't know ePals, but I use whatsapp , facebook or skype. I think that non all teachers (also the young) have the skills necessary to use digital technologies and In Italy schools don't support them.

Resources for the 'Asteroids, impacts and craters' learning scenario:

https://www.cte.cornell.edu/teaching-ideas/engaging-students/collaborative-learning.html Resource from Cornell University


Module 3 How can you assess collaborative learning?The learning objectives for this module are: Understand the principles of assessing collaborative learning. Appreciate the various challenges teachers face in assessing collaborative learning and the tips, tools and solutions available. Understand the value of using rubrics and checklists for assessing collaborative learning, and how to construct them.Appreciate the importance of involving students in the definition of assessment tools used for collaborative learning.Start creating one or more lesson plans integrating collaborative learning and assessment using the Learning Designer

3.3 Assessment for improving collaborative learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCO3usM2Qw On this video the course coordinator gives an introduction to the principles of assessment for improving collaborative learning, based on the CO-LAB Assessment Guidelines. Formative assessment, self-assessment and summative assessment are discussed in relation to the assessment of collaborative learning

Formative Assessment can help to improve teaching strategies and students’ study because itprovides very contextualized feedback both to students individually and to groups, as well as to their teachers.

Self-assessment should focus on individuals and their commitment, motivation, engagement in teamwork and their ability to achieve personal goals. Group goals can be formulated using checklists or progress level scales applied over a pre-defined timeline systematically or at particular milestones while carrying out projects or tasks.

Self-assessment and peer assessment can be fast, timelyand objective when assessing collaborative learning if:

(1) it is implemented in parallel with learning activities,

(2) it uses the same language used by group participants,

(3) it is conducted diplomatically so as not to create obstacles in the social relationship of the group.

Summative assessment aims to provide a formal academic record of students’learning progress and to establish proficiency levels

Do you think your assessment of collaborative work sometimes discourages students or encourages competition? If yes, how you do think this could be avoided? Is the assessment you carry out brief, clear and timely, and how do you ensure it is so; do you have tips to suggest for others? Does the summative assessment of each student in your school/subject take into account the learning outcomes related to collaborative work (such as project work/results)?

I think that the summative assessment can cause anxiety and frustration in students, in collaborative work. Self-assessment and Formative Assessment are more useful, but in my italian schools sometimes the summative assessment of each student doesn't take into account the learning outcomes related to collaborative work. A lot of work must be done by teachers to achieve a significant learning and an authentic assessment

Some tools

--> for peer review- comments on padlet or google forms

--> for quick checks- kahoot, socrative or other quiz tools;

--> for evaluation of individual or group presentations- anonymous feedback from smartphones (mentimeter, answergarden, socrative, kahoot)

3.5 An ICT teacher’s experience of assessing collaborative learninghttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v= In this video we hear about the experiences of assessing the collaborative learning of 15-18 year olds from an ICT teacher in Portugal. He explains to us his experiences in two eTwinning projects, which not only have student collaborative learning at their core, but also teacher collaboration. We hear about his opinion of the benefits of collaborative learning and assessment, and the challenges he has faced, together with some tips on how to overcome them.

Do you think about the projects described by Antonio, from the student collaboration point of view, as well as the teacher collaboration point of view? Do you agree with the 7 benefits Antonio associates to assessing collaborative learning? What about the challenges he mentions concerning group dynamics, team management and the time needed to prepare and implement assessment of collaborative learning in the classroom – are these challenges you also face? Antonio mentions the use of collaborative digital tools, reorganizing the classroom space and introducing more interdisciplinary teaching and the sharing of materials amongst teachers as useful tips. Do you agree and what are your experiences of these suggestions?

I think that assessment of collaborative is very difficult and somes times can encourages competition but is important to increase motivation and self refection of students.. The role of teachers changes: we should assess students' collaborative work also with IC tools

The summative assessment of each student must take into account the learning outcomes related to collaborative work.






3.6 Collaborative learning and student peer reviews https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y495vnlX6aYIn this video Anna explains to us her varied experience of assessing collaborative learning with 14-19 year olds through a project-based approach, particularly focusing on peer reviews. She explains various digital tools she uses to set up collaborative learning as well as assess it. She explains the challenges she has faced and offers some solutions and related questions for us to reflect on.

When setting up student groups to work on a project, Anna often leaves students free to decide who they would like to work with and each team member’s role. However, when it comes to peer assessment Anna prefers to use a random name picking tool, as she believes this helps ensure objectivity and is more likely to encourage useful and constructive feedback among peers. Do you agree with these different approaches? Anna mentions a variety of digital tools which are helpful in implementing and assessing collaborative work, such as Edmodo, Scrumy, Tackks, Padlets, Google Forms etc. What are your experiences of these tools? I agree with the different approaches of Anna. I think digital tools which are very helpful: I usePadlets, Google Forms and Prezi

3.7 Collaborative learning - What to assess and how?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMKuiS8o8XM In this video the course coordinator explains what and how to assess collaborative learning, based on the CO-LAB Assessment Guidelines. Rubrics and checklists are introduced as useful tools for assessing collaborative learning and tips on how to construct them are provided, together with available examples.

Have you ever used existing rubrics and checklists to assess collaborative work? Have you ever constructed your own rubrics or checklists for this purpose? What about involving students in the design of rubrics, checklists or other assessment tools? What have been your experiences? What do you think of the tips given for constructing rubrics and checklists in the video? Are the guidelines and examples given in the CO-LAB Assessment Guidelines useful?This video was very interesting: I would like to create effective assessment tools. I normaly use checklist as self-assessments but I' ll try to create a rubric. I found some good tools at:


Module 4 In this video the course coordinator describes the topics explored in Module 4, and explains the learning activity you are expected to do at the end of the modulehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K-Z1tydsy8

The learning objectives for this module are:

Appreciate the benefits of teacher collaboration and how best to take advantage of them, as well as the challenges, and tips and tools for overcoming them

Understand the required skills needed by teachers for effective collaboration, as well as the conditions needed at school level for teacher collaboration to flourish

Understand how technology can facilitate teacher collaboration

Finalize the development of one or more lesson plans integrating collaborative learning and assessment, as well as elements of teacher collaboration, using the Learning Designer.

Peer review the collaborative learning lesson plans of two course participants.

In this webinar, Deirdre Butler will present an informal "questions and answers" session where participants will have the chance to ask her any questions related to the topic of collaboration or to any specific topic of the cours https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOArajUhqQk

4.2 A primary school teacher's experience of teacher collaboration

4.3 A secondary teacher's experience of teacher collaborationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_biy0FNb7vUHave you heard of all the platforms and digital tools mentioned by Reyhan in the video, and what are your experiences of using them for teacher collaboration? Do you agree that not all teachers have the required skills to take advantage of digital technologies? Reyhan mentions social media networks, such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, as particularly useful spaces for teacher collaboration and professional learning. What are your experiences of social media networks for teacher collaboration and professional learning? What emerging digital technologies are you aware of that can help teachers collaborate more efficiently? I use some of the tools mentined on the video, especially dropbox and google.docs for sharing informatio

4.4 The benefits and challenges of teacher collaboration4.4 The benefits and challenges of teacher collaboration

4.4 The benefits and challenges of teacher collaborationIn this video Professor Deirdre Butler discusses the various benefits of teacher collaboration including the usefulness of peer reviews, collaborating in a safe environment, and building an effective community of practice. She also highlights some of the challenges involved and the need to find opportunities for collaboration both inside and outside of school, and for collaboration to take place across subjects and themes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj39hd41AjQ

According to D. Butler, the key benefits of teacher collaboration at the same school are

peer-to-peer learning

collaboraton in a safe environment,

critical feedback from others in a trusted environment.

encouragement of risk-taking

sharing the experiences

designing a task together

4.5 Skills and conditions needed for teacher collaboration

"Teaching is a very isolated pracice" (behind closed classroom doors) -> leadership, shared responsibility, sharing skills, giving feedback must be practised in collaboration of teachers. Older and younger teachers can benefit from each other

4.5 Skills and conditions needed for teacher collaboration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQqq42pfk7oIn this video a teacher trainer at Maynooth University explains to us the skills required by teachers to work collaboratively, as well as the conditions needed for teacher collaboration in the school environment. She also discussed the importance of leadership and how we might address sceptical teachers.

Do you agree with the list of skills and conditions mentioned as necessary for teacher collaboration to flourish in schools? What would you add to this list based on your experiences? Does the leadership in your teacher training institution or the current school in which you teach model collaboration? If so, how, and do you think this is motivating and beneficial for students? Do you work with teachers who are sceptical about collaboration, and what have you/will you try to help them see the advantages of this way of working?I agree with Majella: collaboration is very important for teachers because it helps them to develop leadership skills, is positive for students and allows teachers to experience different ways of working and exchanging ideas and to improve their teaching practice.

4.6 How technology can facilitate teacher collaboration

In this video we hear from Professor Deirdre Butler and Majella Dempsey (a teacher trainer from Maynooth University) about how technology can facilitate teachers working together. We hear about the usefulness of various communication platforms and MOOCs, as well as the need to move away from an understanding of teacher collaboration just being about sending and displaying, to one that is more about processing, analyzing and sharing Do you use technology specifically for the purpose of collaborating with other teachers? Would you say that the nature of your digital collaboration with teachers is equivalent to ‘sending and displaying’, as mentioned in the video, or more about processing, analyzing and sharing? Why do you think this is and can you give examples? Which digital tools would you recommend for teachers to use for collaborating and why? I use google drive, dropbox, padlet, skype

4.7 Irish teachers’ reflections on teacher collaboration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdkSLMtjAOw

In this video teachers from Ireland discuss their experience of collaborating with teachers from different schools across Ireland during a CO-LAB workshop. They talk about the benefits of having a dedicated time and space to devote to collaborating together, the advantages of working with teachers from different disciplines, and how technology can facilitate the process.Do you agree that finding time within the school day for teacher collaboration is challenging? What are your experiences of this, and what solutions have you tried to overcome this challenge? Do you agree that working with teachers from different disciplines can be very useful, and what are your experiences of this? What are the conditions needed in your opinion for this to work? In science teaching collabortion is necessary because our subjects are"interdisciplinary". I agree that finding time within the school day for teacher collaboration is challenging. Tecnology and social media can help, like facebook and Whatsapp http://www.gettingsmart.com/2014/11/5-social-media-must-knows-every-teacher/


My learning activity

I tried to apply Collaborative Teaching and Learning metodologies to IBSE (http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/report-rocard-on-science-education_en.pdf). My project “Bones in space https://v.gd/DI2jfV is an attempt: Pavia teachers will be able to experience it and make it better. I thank all those who will give me useful advice to improve it.

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