Guillaume Caron and Laurent Fillion, teachers at Vadez College in Calais (Pas-de-Calais) in France, present a practical organization proposal for the establishment of a distance cooperative class. They themselves lived the experience with a class of 4e. In fact, for them, it was a continuation since the cooperative component was already in place in their class.
1- A work plan on Padlet
All student work is centralized on a Padlet, classified by discipline. They find work to do individually, as well as videoconferencing moments for collective work. Elements concerning the life of the class also appear.
2- A virtual cooperative council
The class cooperative council can be held by videoconference without any problem. The message box that usually allows students to submit an agenda preparation coupon is however replaced by an online form that students could complete. One of the observed advantages of remote co-op counseling is that it is easier to welcome other teachers as an observer, special guest or participant.
3- Group work by videoconference
A maximum of two hours per day is set for collaborative online work. The moments are also distributed in the schedule to avoid too long periods in front of the screen. A sequence planned for the work (with duration) is also proposed to the pupils.
4- Traces in digital tools
Part of the work to be done alone is done in writing so that teachers can then collect traces of student learning. Online exercise tools allow other forms of results to be retrieved. They also have the advantage of providing feedback, often live, to students.
For example, Guillaume Caron and Laurent Fillion mention Tactileo (which allows you to create modules with different types of questions) and Labomep (with the generation of online exercise sessions in mathematics according to themes and student profiles). These two platforms allow the teacher to individually follow the students' work. They also use CoopMaths which generates random data exercises.
5- Help when in doubt
A help charter, which had been drawn up in class, is still valid at a distance (eg do not give the answer but guide the classmates towards it). As the pupils always have the possibility to ask for help from the teacher and the other pupils in the event of a blockage, the teachers set up a help table on a standard tool. Framapad. However, they soon realized that the students were using other means, such as social media messaging and texting, to communicate with each other and help each other.
“Distance education will never replace what we can do in the classroom. Cooperation is facilitated by the physical presence, the importance of gestures, looks, space, bodies is important. However, thanks to small organizations, this cooperation manages to cross the wall of distance which offers adapted tools. The balance of time then becomes fundamental to fight against isolation, dropping out or overload ”, concludes Guillaume Caron and Laurent Fillion.
The full version of their testimony is available on the Educational Notebooks.