What would the ideal collaboration between students look like?
Ever mindful of the fact that well-designed collaborative activities have the potential to result in deep, authentic learning experiences for all participants, I believe that an ideal collaboration between students resembles a movie production crew. When everyone in a group has a clear purpose, enough time to work, and an important role to play, collaborative magic can happen. (I've written about my experience working on a video production crew in an earlier post).
When a group of students is tasked to create a video presentation, whether in the form of a documentary, parody, or public service announcement, quite a bit of coordination, planning, and revising has to take place. Among the roles required in this type of collaborative venture, there is a need for a director, script writers, actors, set decorators, audio techs, and video editors. Since there are a variety of tasks requiring different talents, skills, and personality types in video production teams, participants may contribute in many different ways.
If all goes well, and the students are given enough support, they will have created something that could not have been done by one person on their own.