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Developing good academic practice
Developing good academic practice

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3.1 Good collaborative practices

In both formal and informal examples, good collaborative practices involve two or more individuals working together to help each other understand:

  • what a specific concept or topic means (often by explaining it in different ways to that presented in the course materials);
  • how this information can be applied to other areas of their study.

It may also involve discussing and developing general approaches on how to solve a particular problem or task, but without going into specific details or giving away the precise method or answer. Collaboration linked to assessed work stops at the level of general discussions, with each student writing up their answer individually, in their own time and in their own words.

In summary, good collaborative learning means working collectively on a topic or task to help each other understand what is involved and/or what needs to be done. Answers to any assessed work are then completed by each student in their own words. Good collaboration does not involve discussing the precise answers or giving an exact approach to solving a question that will form part of some assessed work.