PO Box 2120 Richmond, VA 23218
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A Program of the Virginia Department of Education

Collaboration in the Digital Classroom

Course Description

This interactive e-learning experience offers an in-depth look at collaboration, with a focus on online collaborative tools. In this course, teachers see how collaboration helps students develop life readiness skills, deepen content understanding, and prepare them for the global world. Teachers learn how to plan and manage collaboration activities that integrate online collaborative tools that are increasingly part of our globally connected workplaces. They follow two teachers as they implement collaborative experiences in their classrooms. The course offers opportunities to apply the collaboration concepts with action-planning exercises.

Course Goals

  • Understand why collaboration is an important skill for now and in the future.
  • See how a collaboration framework can help plan collaborative experiences using technology.
  • Understand the benefits and challenges of a collaborative classroom.
  • Become familiar with the traits of collaboration.
  • Learn how different collaboration purposes can achieve learning objectives.
  • Understand how to use the Collaboration Framework to design purposeful collaborative experiences.
  • Review methods and instruments for assessing collaborative processes.
  • Understand the differences between the old Web and the new, more collaborative Web.
  • Review different types of web-based tools and how they can support collaboration.
  • Learn how to find and choose the best tools for the job.
  • Build on the digital skills students use daily to support digital collaboration.
  • Investigate strategies to help students become skilled digital collaborators.
  • Examine ways to help students behave ethically online.
  • Understand and promote appropriate and safe online behavior.
  • Learn how to manage and support collaborators.
  • Learn strategies to set up and provide access to technology for collaboration.
  • Prepare for unexpected challenges that can occur with online collaboration and technology.

Course Length

This facilitated course is divided into six modules: an orientation module and five content-based modules. The time for completing each module is estimated to be 4–6 hours, and the
total amount of time required for the entire course is estimated to be 30 hours.

Course Requirements

Successful completion of the course will be based on the following requirements:

  • Participants must complete the course activities and readings in each module.
  • Participants must post at least three times in each module discussion forum (their post and a reply to two other posts).
  • Participants must complete the course’s final action plan project and submit a summary on the discussion board.

Discussion Participation

Participants are required to post a minimum of three substantive posts in each discussion forum. Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation. Postings will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, overall quality, degree to which they extend the discussion, and tone.

Final Action Plan Project

As a final project, participants will complete an action plan for incorporating course concepts in their own classrooms. Participants are expected to work independently on the final action plan project throughout the course. Each participant is expected to submit a summary of their “Collaboration in the Digital Classroom” plan on the discussion board at the end of Module 5.

Course Modules

Module 1: Collaborative Classrooms

Module 1 introduces collaboration and how it benefits today’s students. This Module provides examples of collaborative classrooms and introduces ways to implement collaboration activities in your classroom with and without technology.

Module 2: A Framework for Digital Collaboration

Module 2 introduces the Digital Collaboration Framework, which will help you strategically integrate collaboration into your instruction and ensure collaboration is purposeful, meaningful, and effective. This approach helps students better experience the benefits of collaboration.

Module 3: Tools of Collaboration

Module 3 explores online tools that support collaboration in the classroom. You will use project scenarios that integrate collaborative tools to help you locate and integrate online tools for your projects. You will also learn strategies for using new tools now and in the future.

Module 4: Collaboration Strategies

Module 4 explores how technology tools familiar to many students can help students move from being online communicators to being skilled digital collaborators. This Module also examines ways you can communicate to students and parents how your classroom will enforce ethical, safe, and legal online practices.

Module 5: Collaborative Classroom Management

Thorough planning and preparation is the best guarantee for successful collaboration in the classroom. In Module 5, you will learn how to promote the safe use of technology, manage and support collaborators and their technological tools, and handle the unexpected challenges inherent in collaborative projects.

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