The Year 10 English classes have started the year in the spirit of ‘Seeking Connectedness’ through inquiry research and collaborative learning. What does this all mean? Working together in small groups, students are tasked with working together to develop an understanding in a particular focus area and then to consider how best to convey that understanding to the rest of the class through a seminar presentation.
Collaboration and teamwork is considered to be a highly desirable skill in both the learning context and the workforce and so this activity work enhances knowledge, and skills in interaction and engagement with different perspectives.
During the student presentations, the rest of the class recorded their understanding through Cornell notes, an efficient and effective way of active listening to enable them to synthesise their newly acquired knowledge into a concise summary. This is an additional invaluable skill within school and beyond at university level. Each seminar was insightful, engaging and informative and provided a solid contextual foundation for a deeper appreciation of our focus novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’.
Students reflected on this activity and their experience of collaborative learning:
I liked doing collaborative learning with a group on a PowerPoint. I worked really well with my group and had fun learning about the topic and creating a PowerPoint. I liked sharing the work and researching in a group. it made it easy to make a PowerPoint over such a big topic. It was fun.
I found that working with others made the research task easier in the way of collecting information. The facts I wasn't able to find, my group helped me to organise what I needed. Working together helps make the entire group closer and better at communicating with others.
I found that the collaborative task we did during the past three lessons, helped make the task engaging and enjoyable. Having to present to the class proved what we learnt about each of our topics and listening to others presentations helped to understand our terms topic.