Teaching for Collaboration: Bringing our Practice to our Teaching
Teaching for collaboration is relatively new to our discussion concerning the education of students in the building industry and each of us pictures something different in its practice. For some, it begins with the traditional lecture—moving from theory to its application. Once students understand the relationships between the ideas and facts and their applications, they are assigned a collaborative project in order to use this imparted knowledge. These projects and assignments can take the form of case studies, simulations, discussions and topic research, to name a few. They can be short in-class tasks or much longer out-of-class activities. Practitioners are not only concerned with academic objectives, but also with the development of social skills, and are known for using the most structured techniques. For them, teaching for collaboration is “the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning” (Johnson et al. 1990).