I am Zeeshan Ali; I am working as a Computer teacher for Classes VI-X-M in Canal Side Boys Campus. I have done Masters in Computer Science (MCS) from Punjab University College of Information and Technology (PUCIT) Lahore. The students are the main focus of every teacher and our entire teaching efforts circle round our students to achieve the set targets. Effective Teaching includes many useful teaching strategies that a teacher chooses according to the requirement of his/her respective subject and topic as well. In result of my years of experience and as a Computer teacher I find Group Work as the most effective and fruitful technique at every level. Rationale
Group work is a successful teaching strategy in which small groups, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject. Each member of a group is responsible not only for learning what is taught but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement. Students work through the assignment until all group members successfully understand and complete it. Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques:
• promote student learning and academic achievement
• increase student retention
• enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience • help students develop skills in oral communication
• develop students' social skills
• promote student self-esteem
• help to promote positive race relations
Johnson, et al. (1990) identifies five basic elements of collaborative learning including Positive interdependence, Promotive interaction, Individual accountability for the group's work, Social skills, Group self-evaluating. Students learn best when they are actively involved in the process. Researchers report that, regardless of the subject matter, students working in small groups tend to learn more of what is taught and retain it longer than when the same content is presented in other instructional formats. Students who work in collaborative groups also appear more satisfied with their classes. ( Beckman, 1990; Chickering and Gamson, 1991; Collier, 1980; Cooper and Associates, 1990; Slavin, 1980, 1983; Whitman, 1988). “Many students have never worked in collaborative learning groups and may need practice in such skills as active and tolerant listening, helping one another in mastering content, giving and receiving constructive criticism, and managing disagreements.” (Fiechtner and Davis, 1992 "Leading a Discussion”) The students in a group must perceive that they "sink or swim" together, that each member is responsible to and dependent on all the others, and that one cannot succeed unless all in the group succeed. Knowing that peers are relying on you is a powerful motivator for group work (Kohn, 1986). Strategies for promoting interdependence include specifying common rewards for the group, encouraging students to divide up the labor, and formulating tasks that compel students to reach a consensus. (Johnson, Johnson, and Smith, 1991) Walvoord (1986) recommends telling the class that after the group task is completed, each student will submit to the instructor an anonymous assessment of the participation of the other group members: who did extra work and who shirked work. If several people indicate that an individual did less than a fair share, that person could receive a lower grade than the rest of the group. This system works, says Walvoord, if groups have a chance in the middle of the project to discuss whether any members are not doing their share. Members who are perceived as shirkers then have an opportunity to make amends. Here are some other options for dealing with shirkers. Perhaps the best way to assure comparable effort among all group members is to design activities in which there is a clear division of labor and each student must contribute if the group is to reach its goal....
Bibliography: Beckman, M. "Collaborative Learning: Preparation for the Workplace and Democracy" College Teaching, 1990, 38(4), 128-133.
Chickering, A. W, and Gamson, Z. F (eds.), Applying the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, no.47. San Francisco: JosseyBass, 1991.
Collier, K. G. "Peer-Group Learning in Higher Education: The Development of Higher-order Skills." Studies in Higher Education, 1980, 5(1), 55-62.
Connery, B. A. "Group Work and Collaborative Writing." Teaching at Davis, 1988, 14(1), 2-4. (Publication of the Teaching Resources Center, University of California at Davis)
Cooper, J. "Cooperative Learning and College Teaching: Tips from the Trenches." Teaching Professor, 1990, 4(5), 1-2.
Cooper, J., and Associates. Cooperative Learning and College Instruction. Long Beach: Institute for Teaching and Learning, California State University, 1990.
Fiechtner, S. B., and Davis, E. A. "Why Some Groups Fail: A Survey of Students ' Experiences with Learning Groups." In A. Goodsell, M. Maher, V. Tinto, and Associates (eds.), Collaborative Learning: A Sourcebook for Higher Education. University Park: National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, Pennsylvania State University, 1992.
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Hendrickson, A. D. "Cooperative Group Test-Taking." Focus, 1990,5(2), 6 (Publication of the Office of Educational Development Programs, University of Minnesota) Johnson, D. W, and Johnson, R. T. Cooperation and Competition: Theory and Research. Edina, Minn.: Interaction Books, 1989.
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., and Smith, K. A. Cooperative Learning:Increasing College Faculty Instructional Productivity. ASHE-FRIC Higher Education Report No.4. Washington, D.C.: School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University, 1991.
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