The group Cool Tools & Ed Tech at Diigo.com introduced me to this article on Explaining Collaboration to Learners. The original source was found at cmduke's EdTechatouille. Although the article is geared toward the educational field, this blog takes the perspective that we are all learners.Collaboration vs. Cooperation
A cooperative effort usually helps make up for a lack of time or resources; many people work on the task since it would take one person much longer to accomplish it. Dr. Reeves described cooperation as “divide and conquer.” Ultimately though, given time and resources, one person could run an entire assembly line single-handedly.
Collaboration means something very different. In contrast to cooperation, collaboration is more than simply making a contribution to the work effort. In a collaborative workspace, people amplify one another; the good work of one person magnifies the work of another. Individuals enhance the impact of contributions by others on the team; interaction and communication are necessary.
I have basically made bullets below out of the concepts dealt with more throughly in the article.
- “Accept every offer.”
- “Make your partner look good.”
- “plus something.”
- “This is what I have, what can I add to it? How do I make my partner look good?”
- Focus on how you can contribute to the conversation.
- to be *interested* than it is to be *interesting*
- the person that’s interested contributes a great deal more.
- an interested person is curious about solutions other than the first one suggested.
- An interested person is more concerned about the process than their role in it.
- An interested person does more to amplify the people around them.
- Communication is more than simple transmission.
- Effective communication inherently involves translation, and the
- Translation must be done by the communicator, not the listener.
The next set of bullets were lifted directly from the articleSo, what do learners need to know to better understand what collaboration really means?
- Collaboration absolutely requires the participation of two or more people; if you could accomplish the work by yourself, you’re cooperating, not collaborating.
- Collaboration Is enhanced by “accepting every offer” and “making your partner look good.” Focus on what you can add to what others have suggested rather than revising or fixing their ideas or solutions.
- Collaboration is facilitated by group members that focus on being *interested* rather than being *interesting* - be curious about others’ ideas, explore the possibilities, enjoy the process rather than focusing to quickly on the outcome.
- Collaboration demands bi-directional communication in which your ideas are shaped by the ideas of others; you must work to make sure your ideas are comprehensible.