May 4, 2017
Comments Off on Work together and don’t talk.

Work together and don’t talk.

I’m trying to figure out how to make students more productive.

I’m trying to figure out how to help students use their time more effectively.

I’m trying to help them isolate the variables that affect their focus, alter them when they want, and thus become a more efficient learner.

It’s all about data collection and data management.

I am not a statistician.

As of right now, the data sits in a spreadsheet, thousands of individual entries of productivity and the factors that influenced it from students in grades 9-11 in both academic and applied streams. The data is not surprising. It has identified that the biggest factor that is connected to productivity is their interactions with each other.

As students engage in a more collegial, collaborative work environment they are more likely to identify themselves as less productive. Students who identify that they were only 10%-45% productive over the course of 30-45 minutes, “friends/classmates” is about 83% of their reason. “Cell phone/social media” makes up most of the remainder.

I know that some will question the “richness” of the task that students are engaged in. Clearly students will be more distracted when doing a worksheet on literary terms.

In turn, I’ve had them record their productivity assessment in all sorts of different task environments like individual work, group work, inquiry-based, gamified tasks, autonomous tasks, etc. and the results stay mostly the same.

Their peers are the greatest inhibitors of productivity.

It begs the question:
How do we help students maintain productivity, build the skills of collaboration, maintain critical social ties whilst knowing that having students work together is working against their productivity?

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