In their recent book The Connected Educator- Learning and Leading in a Digital Age, authors Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall state an important distinction between cooperative and collaborative work. In cooperative learning, “each learner works individually on the same topic and then shares with the group… [so that] one learner’s failure to participate does not negatively affect the outcome or learning of the entire group” (p. 12). By comparison, collaboration “occurs when we approach goals as connected learners, relying on each other’s skills, knowledge, talents, and readiness to share… In other words, each of us brings something unique to the project or task that couldn’t have happened without our involvement” (p. 12).
In the picture above, snapped quickly during English class today, students work in collaborative groups to collect different series of text quotations that show a character’s change over time, highlighting initial conflict, adaptation to the conflict, and resolution. Once rudimentarily arranged by the students on the right, these quotations are uploaded and arranged on bubbl.us, using shape and color to identify relationships between quotes. These offerings are then posted for other classmates to use.