Collaborative learning employs small groups that cooperate to achieve common goals. Many breakthroughs have resulted directly from collaborative learning webs that foster interaction and innovation. In groups, people can build on others’ ideas to advance the thought process and achieve results faster. Supportive group dynamics cultivate creative input, inspire action and hold people accountable for their responsibilities.

Developing Autonomous Groups


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Groups that tend to be successful are autonomous in nature but harmonize their interactions. Connecting individuals to the purpose of the group effort creates an intrinsic motivation for each member to want to perform well for a cause and expand his own knowledge and skill set. Improved learning results in higher self-esteem, and valuable contributions enhance self-efficacy. Viewing group work as a means to these individual goals encourages constructive cooperation among members.

Groups Share Tasks and Responsibility


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The support of a group offers the comfort of shared responsibility. Knowing that several people are contributing ideas and efforts helps individuals feel secure in making suggestions. No solution is the result of one person alone, and no one person is expected to complete the entire task on her own. In the same respect, group members hold each other accountable. People do not like being labeled as the bottleneck in a group project. If there is an activity that is holding the project up, members many times will collaborate to help push activities through the lagging queue.

Group Synergy Fosters Creativity


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Removing hierarchical structures and defined positions allows creativity and innovation to flow freely. When each individual contributor is competent in his skills, he can creatively build on the efforts of others. Instead of being limited by the direction of a top-down approach, a synergistic group dynamic motivates contributors to collaborate without boundaries. The developments the group produces as a unit inspire continual efforts and progress as results come to fruition.

Reward and Motivation


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Group goals tie team members together in a joint effort to achieve success. Having a reward attached to a group effort puts pressure on the team to perform as a whole. When multiple people are working toward a common end goal, this increases the focus and attention on the immediate project. A reward that can be recognized only by a group that operates together successfully amplifies the desire for each member to want to work in harmony.