We’ve had incredibly positive feedback about the first round of summer updates last week. In a few weeks, the next round of updates will be released. The most significant change will be something that you’ve all been requesting — multi-student project collaboration.
As we designed NoodleBib’s collaboration features, we reviewed the wonderful ideas and insights you’ve sent our way — what features groups could use and how students work together. We’ve also investigated the research on effective collaboration, so that the software we build supports good instruction and effective practices. It’s probably no surprise to you that successful teams set well-defined goals and create a clearly-defined structure for their work.
While participating in a team is inherently more complex than working alone, the benefits of socially-constructed knowledge are well-documented:
- well-executed collaborative learning improves individual academic achievement;
- the skills of teamwork necessary for future learning and work are learned over time;
- collaborative work improves one’s self-concept as well as one’s attitudes toward school and learning.
NoodleBib’s collaborative features have been designed to support the factors that nudge people toward interdependence and communities of practice:
- identified shared objectives
- concrete, attainable goals
- open and frequent communication
- common space that enables synchronous and asynchronous tasks
- learner-driven autonomy backed by continuous support (e.g., just-in-time, guided help, teacher-monitoring, feedback loops, and stable technology platform)
- software which facilitates information exchange, knowledge management and knowledge construction
- individual-, group- and self-assessment opportunities
When group members see benefits from their involvement with others, they are keen to participate, share resources and responsibilities, and even welcome accountability.
“…under the right circumstances, groups are remarkably intelligent, and are often smarter than the smartest people in them. Groups do not need to be dominated by exceptionally intelligent people in order to be smart.” – James Surowiecki, The Wisdom of Crowds, Anchor-Random, 2005 p. xiii
As usual, we’re eager for feedback and optimistic about the learning that can happen!