The goal of this section is to introduce students to the idea of collaboration and its alternatives.
Clearly, students will have collaborated in the past. This section aims to get them to think explicitly about the choice to collaborate or to work alone and the impact that this choice might have on process and product of their activities. It aims to get students to think of collaborative and non-collaborative creative production more generally and to understand the benefits and difficulties that each introduces.
The following activies or explorations might help the students explore and discover the key concepts in this section. Each is framed in terms of the key questions it raises.
An activity where students are given, or asked to create, a set of tasks that they believe could be done better by individuals and by groups.
These tasks can, but need not, involve the computer and may involve other projects that the students are working on as part of their studies.
The students should also be asked to come up with metrics by which the group and individual progress can be measured. Upon finishing their projects they will evaluate their projects and process and discuss what they've learned. Important questions might include:
An activity where students are asked to work in groups to accomplish tasks but are asked to do so under different decision-making systems (e.g., democratic, hierarchical, dictatorial).
Students in groups with leaders are each asked to choose a leader and run an experiment. They are then asked to present, compare, and discuss their "findings." Important questions raised might include:
The goal with this questions is to prompt students to notice and to think critically about collaboration as a choice and about decision-making systems and control structures in the context of collaboration.
Students could walk away from this section with: