Exploring Collaborative Learning Practices in Teacher Education in Uganda: Students' Experiences of Collaborative Learning at Health Tutors' College - Mulago
Collaborative learning (CL) has been described as a student-centred and innovative approach to teaching and learning, which promotes the development of 21st century skills such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, communication skills, teamwork and personal development, and enhances academic achievement among learners. This study explored the experiences of students regarding collaborative learning at a Health Tutors’ College in Uganda, in order to identify best practices for promoting and optimizing collaborative learning in teacher education. A qualitative approach was used and data was collected through focus group discussions, which elicited students’ lived experiences regarding the collaborative learning approach on their Bachelor of Medical Education study program. The findings revealed that students had experienced collaborative learning in very few subjects; the lecturers’ facilitation of collaborative learning was largely inadequate, as practices were largely teacher centred. Nonetheless, students had a positive attitude towards and preferred the collaborative learning approaches to the traditional teacher centred practices, even for their future careers. The study recommends sensitization and orientation of all college staff and students towards collaborative learning for full adoption of collaborative learning by the entire college community.
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