Lesson-2: Tier 2: Conceptual Considerations

Collaborative learning is social learning. Collaborative learning is a type of social learning that engages students with their peers. Contextual learning is a type of social learning that uses the environment to assist in obtaining information associated with cultural norms. Both collaborative and contextual learning opportunities provide psychological and social support in the learning environment. Cultural responsiveness to collaborative learning experiences influences the psychological, academic, and social factors associated with successful outcomes for students of color.

Tier 2 cultural responses include evidence-based frameworks with cultural adaptations.  Below is a cohesive and transparent methodology for measuring or documenting the impact of cultural responsiveness.

Tier 2 focus is on the design of entry and a focus on inclusion as it relates to well-being and successful completion. The content below is added entry into small groups, conflict resolution, group functioning, and development.

Although these practices are for all students, individual students drive how they will use the strategies.  In many instances, students are randomly assigned to groups for collaborative learning.  Regardless of how students are placed in groups, collaborative activities require cultural considerations of leadership development, conflict resolution, and group norming (how people position themselves in a group to feel included).

Faculty and design teams frequently overlook the importance of group development in course design and instructional practices. Instead, faculty and course designers should place focus on the process of group development. In other words, how and why individuals select entry into a certain group, how they respond to the group upon entry, and responses within the group once the group has begun to engage in collaborative learning.

CRS Applications
Tier 2: Who is involved? Instructional Designers, Practitioners, and Students
What’s the Purpose?To add up to 50% of cultural responsiveness to a course.
How will it happen?Assignment design, course norms, social norms, and group development.
Types of Culture Academic Community Ethnic A.C.C.C.E.Collaborative culture: Group forming and norming, participation, outcomes, interpersonal communication, and socialization. (Collaboration-Group Membership)
Which students?Individuals who need more than tier 1 (general cultural responsiveness).
Ethnic culture and Intersectionality: Student engagement, motivation, cognitive and social presence, learning, and memory. (All aspects)

Individuals needing cultural responsiveness in Tier 2, will require specific cultural attributes to be present. It is important to provide activities that help each individual engage by culturally positioning themselves in a group. While students who may not need as much cultural responsiveness would do well with random assignment. The common practice of random group assignment is often void of cultural considerations. Common practices associated with collaborative and contextual learning differ from those of culturally responsive practices. Common practices of collaborative learning, like whole group instruction were developed in a Eurocentric framework.

Common Practice vs. Culturally Practices

DomainCommon PracticeCulturally Responsiveness Practice
Content Content is reflective of ‘traditional” viewpoints.Content is reflective of diverse authors and viewpoints.
LearnerTask-Oriented Learning Collaborative and Contextual Learning
Role of InstructorFacilitate learning: Students are highly dependent on the directions of instructors and peers.Facilitate students’ ability to create culture within the group for a sense of inclusion.   Interdependence is also valued.
LearningLearning is task-oriented.   Leadership roles do not consider cultural differences.Learning occurs through collaborative and contextual cultural collaboration.