Facilitating Collaboration



The idea of creativity should not always be thought of as a single student thought process. Creativity also takes place in a social context.

"An idea or product that deserves the label 'creative' arises from the synergy of many sources and not only from the mind of a single person. It is easier to enhance creativity by changing conditions in the environment than by trying to make people think more creatively" (Csikszentmihalyi, 1996, p. 1).

Environments that support Scratch collaboration:

The Scratch website: the Scratch designers emphasized sharing and collaboration when they created the Scratch community website; "the Scratch Online Community makes programming more engaging by turning it into a social activity" (Monroy-Hernandez & Resnick, 2008, p.50). On the site members can:

  • Post projects and get project ideas from other uploaded projects.
  • Download and remix other student projects.
  • Form online design teams through working on projects with other members around the world.
  • Offer and receive help from other members through forums.
  • Offer and receive feedback on projects and ideas.
  • Rate projects and offer up challenges.

The classroom: a similar collaborative environment can be created in the classroom by:

  • Providing students with project feedback strategies. For example giving students a project feedback handout that helps to guide them in giving feedback.
  • Creating feedback teams.
  • Having students share their projects on the school network or have them create multiple copies of their projects for sharing.
  • Creating design teams for collaboration on projects.

For Example:

The Jigsaw collaborative or cooperative technique can be used to perform appropriate programming activities within Scratch. (Theodorou & Kordaki, 2010).

The Jigsaw technique is described in 10 easy steps at the Jigsaw.org external website. Outlined below is an implementation of this technique using a Scratch project example. In the jigsaw groups, students will share knowledge and then work on the Scratch game dodge ball.

  1. Divide students into jigsaw groups.
  2. Appoint one student from each group as the leader.
  3. Divide the project into segments, similar to that performed in the scaffolding activities. For example: Screen Position, Direction, Movement, Sensing, and Broadcasting.
  4. Assign each student to learn one segment.
  5. Give students time to research and tinker with their segment to become familiar with it.
  6. Form temporary "expert groups" by having one student from each jigsaw group join other students assigned to the same segment. Give students in these expert groups time to discuss the main points of their segment and to rehearse the demonstrations they will make to their jigsaw group.
  7. Bring the students back into their jigsaw groups.
  8. Ask each student to present their segment to the group. Encourage others in the group to ask questions for clarification.
  9. Float from group to group, observing the demonstrations. If any group is having trouble (e.g., a member is dominating or disruptive), make an appropriate intervention.
  10. At the end of the demonstrations, get students to work on the dodge ball game individually,in pairs or in small groups. Students can seek help from experts or the teacher as they work on their projects.

(Aronson, 2008)



References

Aronson, E.(2008). Jigsaw classroom. Retrieved October 21, 2012, from http://www.jigsaw.org/ external.

Csikszentmihalyi, M., (1996). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Monroy-Hernandez, A., & Resnick, M. (2008). Empowering kids to create and share programmable media. Interactions, 15(2), 50-53.

Theodorou, C. & Kordaki, M. (2010). Super Mario: a collaborative game for the learning of variables in programming. IJAR, 2(4), pp. 111-118.