Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Collaborative verse Co-operative Learning

Ted Panitz's (1996) article attempts to distinguish "between collaborative and cooperative learning definitions."

He wrote:
Collaboration is a philosophy of interaction and personal lifestyle whereas cooperation is a structure of interaction designed to facilitate the accomplishment of an end product or goal.

To clarify, he wrote:
Collaborative learning is a personal philosophy, not just a classroom technique. In all situations where people come together in groups, it suggests a way of dealing with people which respects and highlights individual group members' abilities and contributions. There is a sharing of authority and acceptance of responsibility among group members for the groups actions. The underlying premise of collaborative learning is based upon consensus building through cooperation by group members, in contrast to competition in which individuals best other group members. CL practitioners apply this philosophy in the classroom, at committee meetings, with community groups, within their families and generally as a way of living with and dealing with other people.


Cooperative learning is defined by a set of processes which help people interact together in order to accomplish a specific goal or develop an end product which is usually content specific. It is more directive than a collaborative system of governance and closely controlled by the teacher. While there are many mechanisms for group analysis and introspection the fundamental approach is teacher centred whereas collaborative learning is more student centred.

I guess this website is more about co-operative learning than collaborative learning according to Ted.

I am not interested in this philosophical question. You may call this website co-operative learning if you like. My main interest here is to understand how asynchronous technology may be used to promote learning (co-operative or collaborative or both).


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