A key element in the process of education is collaboration and communication between students, not only for the benefit of a group as a whole, but as an enhancement to the individual. Sonnenwald and Liewrouw (1997) identified that successful collaboration and communication in project teams corresponded positively in “perceived individual effectiveness and project performance.”
This sharing of material is a key element in the collaborative learning process. As educators, it is important to encourage students to collaborate with their peers in the sharing of study material, to leverage each other’s strengths and abilities to best effect and to develop a community amongst students. By engaging with each other in this fashion, by sharing for and contributing to the study of their peers, students no longer are passive observers of material but are actively involved in the process of knowledge acquisition, meaning-making and resources development. This process also has the benefit of developing bonds between peers as they contribute to each others practice and are involved in shared learning goals. Students are no longer individual workers, but instead operate as a community, to the betterment of final outputs and results.
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SONNENWALD, D. H. and LIEWROUW, L. A. Collaboration during the design process: a case study of communication, information behavior, and project performance. In: P. Vakkari, R. Savolainen and B. Dervin, eds. Information seeking in context: proceedings of an international conference on research in information needs, seeking and use in different contexts, 14-16 August, Tampere, Finland. London: Taylor Graham, 1997, 179-204.
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