This month, Tavasham’s Collaborative Learning Platform is launched. Dan Shaw, tutor at Strode College and an early adopter of the programme, explains how he has seen it encourage face-to-face interaction, group discussion and problem-solving in his classroom…
Tech in the classroom often gets criticised for reducing face-to-face pupil interaction, yet the CLP hinges around group discussion. How is this achieved?
The tutor controls every aspect of the task and the pacing, encouraging discussion when appropriate before moving on and unlocking features. Only a group leader can vote and so each group is encouraged to discuss their information which is discreet and different to other groups. Having information that is unique to each group, means that at some stage they will need to discuss points with other groups in order to share the information.
What are the benefits to pupils of encouraging group-based, real-time problem-solving?
It develops real skills that are vital for the workplace, increases confidence and encourages thinking and problem-solving skills that are not always encouraged in lessons that are focused upon examination skills.
Can the CLP be tailored to create scenarios applicable to any subject of any curriculum including degree level?
The platform is completely open ended and the possibilities are limitless. Any lesson that could be adapted to an aspect of role play or discussion could use the platform as a tool.
Why have Tavasham decided to provide this tool for no initial cost?
Tavasham’s primary mission is to encourage engagement with heritage issues and the free training scenario is based upon this.
Once a scenario is created can it be shared with other users?
There is a facility to do this and Tavasham aims to develop a community of educators sharing material.
How has the CLP been received pre-launch by education users?
I have tried the initial scenario with groups ranging from FE to degree level with favourable results. I tried several classes with my own scenario – based upon planning pressures affecting historic music venues in Bristol. These sessions were very successful and enabled my students to grasp quite complex and dry information, and to use it to make impassioned arguments to the group. This led to them making more effective arguments and critical comments in their subsequent assignments.
Where can I view a demo/get free access to the CLP?
Visit collaborative-learning-platform.co.uk or scan the QR code below.