The current paper focuses on the principle of collaboration, its concepts, and the questions concerning its implementation in practice. Collaboration is a contemporary tool for effective teamwork, and that is why it is worth analyzing. It is a group activity for ideas creation, where each person is equal to another in their right to participate in the discussion. In other words, there must be parity among participants in this activity.
Collaboration is voluntary, which means that no participant can be forced to take part in the work. Moreover, a collaborating group shares goals and agrees on what the mutual aims are. The resources, such as literature, equipment, finances, and other relevant supplies, are common. Therefore, everybody can use all the resources that the members possess. All the participants agree that they are responsible for the work process and outcomes.
In other words, participation and decision making is not supervised, but a team believes in the conscientiousness of every member. Consequently, they all will be credited when the project is completed.
Furthermore, collaboration causes emergent characteristics, revealing and developing unique features of a team. In other words, these characteristics are specific to each collaborating group. The participants are aware of and respect individual reasoning and always open to learning from each other.
They trust that everyone follows the principles of collaboration, and never question anybody’s contribution because the members accept the individual differences in interpersonal style. Such group activity with shared aims and resources results in developing a sense of community, which is the participants’ feeling of being a part of the community (Chatterjee & Correia, 2019). Overall, collaboration implies several concepts and rules to follow for success.
Nowadays, society tends to value each individual’s talents and ideas and wants to use all the accessible resources to achieve goals. Therefore, the principles of collaboration have become significant for the modern world. Collaboration can be of different types, such as team, community, and network collaboration. Team collaboration presupposes that all the participants know each other, whereas in community collaboration, the participants are aware of the community, but they are not necessarily acquainted with each other.
Moreover, members of a community collaboration usually share resources and knowledge instead of aiming at a particular goal. Network collaboration usually starts with a small group of people, and then new participants join when they are interested. It is worth mentioning that these types are dynamic and can transform from one to another. My personal experience is participation in a team collaboration for a research project, where a team was developing an app for a homework schedule.
The main challenge of collaboration is to accept and follow the rules of collaboration. Many people are not used to working in a team where everybody is equal, and they tend to find or to become an expert or a supervisor in it. Moreover, people may start to lose their interest and leave the project.
In my experience, I had to face both problems of working in collaboration. Furthermore, studying collaboration should include the rules discussion because it will facilitate their inception. It is also vital to take into account the possible cultural differences of the participants. Examples of successful collaborations can inspire and show how collaboration can be implemented in practice. Thus, there are both challenges and opportunities in collaborative activity.
Chatterjee, R., & Correia, A.-P. (2019) Online students’ attitudes toward collaborative learning and sense of community. American Journal of Distance Education, 1-16.