Collaborative learning in the workshop

Associate videoes do not exist

If we analyze the current status of art in our local environment we can see how little by little artists and students in comparison with other countries, who have been liberated from the purely technical craft, to enter and develop their artistic projects based on conceptual freedom that allows the postmodern aesthetic in which we are immersed. Training workshops in the past were the space of individual experimentation, and the intimate relationship between teacher and student, now simply take shape and value as places of production for final development of an idea.

Very few students and artists currently have a workshop or simply use a single technique or are specifically dedicated to a single trade (painting, sculpture, printmaking and photography among others). Today's artist is easily passed from one technique to another and their use depends mainly on the expressive and formal requirements of the work. Their mind becomes a walking laboratory that is independent of workshop space to develop their ideas and use the same does not focus simply on the acquisition of knowledge but purely technical. Today's artist seeks the help of others, the private sector, commercial artists and workshops that have been professionalized in technical and specialized task in a particular area as is the case of artistic lithography. Thus making these spaces and workshops are purely formalized tools and collaborative work.

Then the teaching and learning of art has the need to meet the social and economic life of art and  must be linked to the use of technical processes and traditional processes must also be overcome, individual habits training and competitive, increasing the teacher-student ratio to give way to teaching methodologies, such as collaborative learning where the student learns to work together to give greater importance to life and true critical thought processes and artistic creation where technology meets the inner need of expression of the artist.

"Today the transformation of the traditional teaching of art appears as a social-economic status, to incorporate as far as possible the surplus of talent in our current difficult economic life" and which lead to students' positions spiritually and financially secure in the current social life..


When speaking of collaborative learning, learning is spoken by projects of "purposeful activities" leading - according to Kilpatrick and John Dewey - a school that not only prepares for life, but that is life itself.

Then lithography formerly a place where the teacher only gave instructions and the student was limited to simple repetition, accumulation of technical information, and authoritarianism by the teacher, collaborative learning seeks to change the mere transmission temporal information is often misunderstood and useless. For a state of understanding where the contents of the workshop will be remembered longer, there is a wider understanding of the lithographic technique and having all the necessary tools to enable them to cope with current social and artistic medium.

Testimony of the transformations are teaching workshops as the Tamarind Institute where collaborative work is currently underway and over 50 years leading processes of training, research and production of the lithographic technique worldwide since its founding aim is to strengthen and restore technical tradition of lithography, and not only to sustain individual artists.


What is collaborative learning?

Within the constructivist teaching model is collaborative learning, which refers to teamwork where students after receiving the teacher's instruction work together and exchange information until each has understood and assimilated the contents of the workshop. The successful implementation of this methodological approach of teaching art lithography depends largely on the teacher and it keeps in mind the factors that can affect positively or negatively at the moment to apply to students in the workshop.

ADVANTAGES: The advantages of collaborative learning are many and can come from personal skills, reduce feelings of isolation, encourage and foster feelings of self-sufficiency, which are based on individual participation, shared responsibility in the results of processes learning in the workshop.

WEAKNESSES: The main obstacle facing when implementing cooperative learning are the resistance to change in the paradigm of teamwork by students and even more in the artistic as well to apply this teaching methodology, you must have an excellent command of the contents of the workshop (art) to make a good design of tools and strategies work.


Transforming lithography


tipically, students entering the workshop come from a single training process and in most cases to work with teachers little guidance and motivation to the student's education process and offering or bring work from collaborative learning, many are skeptical because their concept of artistic learning is based on competition and even more in the artistic field in which the student sets a personal interest in wanting to develop their work as an artist, it may be difficult for students to get rid of that individualistic attitude and when spoken to work in the company for a single project choosing specific roles (Artist or Printer), feel that these projects are not appropriate for your personal proposal.

This is where the teacher must be prepared to interact with students who do not take work and motivate work with clear arguments, show how, through the formation of pairs or small teams, they have the opportunity to exchange their ideas and create an environment free of competition in the workshop which allows to prepare for working life in the working group.

Demonstrating to acquire a general understanding of the technique facilitates collaborative work and the workshop is presented as a working space and exciting for everyone involved.

For this to occur, workshop projects should be structured so that students explain to each other what they will learn through a constant dialogue with the teacher, where the only objective is to learn together and understand the complexity lithographic technique, bridled in one way or another in the reality of the occupation as artist or printer, individual work in lithography, such as: forms, materials and even the time to complete , with greater wealth and importance to the conceptual idea of the project.

Johnson and Johnson following terms as: passive, memorization, repetition, individualism and competitiveness, are elements that have no place in a workshop based on the collaborative work, what is sought instead is to establish the following five terms:

1. Cooperation. In the workshop students should support each other to meet two objectives: to achieve a total understanding of the lithographic technique, and develop collaborative working skills. Students share goals, resources, achievements and understanding of the role of each (artist or printer). A student can not succeed unless everyone on the team succeed.

2. Responsibility. Students are individually responsible for the task they are due. At the same time, everyone on the team should include all tasks that relate to peers.

3. Communication. Team members exchange important information and materials, help each other efficiently and effectively, provide feedback to improve future performance and analyze the findings and thoughts of each and thoughts to achieve higher quality results.

4. Teamwork Students learn to solve technical problems together as a whole, developing the skills of cooperation, communication, confidence, decision making and conflict resolution.

5. Self-assessment. Teams must evaluate which actions were helpful and which not. The team members set goals, evaluate their activities and identify changes that must be done to improve their work in the future.


Artista: Yuli Andrea Cadavid Agudelo
Migrando, five inks, stone and metal
Medellín-Colombia (2010)
25.5 x 25.5 cm.
Impresor: Yuli Andrea Cadavid Agudelo


Organize students in pairs or in small teams.

As mentioned earlier, collaborative learning is based on the formation of pairs or small teams work in classroom or workshop, and the success of this approach depends largely on the conformation of these. Some authors argue that the groups can be randomly or by decision of the students or the teacher. But the practice and hard work within the lithography shows that the best results are achieved in heterogeneous teams and shaped by the teacher to create teacher teams can make tracing the background of their students using interviews, questionnaires or group dynamics and on the basis of these decide as to form pairs or teams with balance, variety and consistency depending on the project to be undertaken.


Roles and responsibilities of teachers and students

In collaborative learning the teacher must balance the exhibition and demonstrations of the kind with proposed projects to students. The teacher can not be just the person who provides instruction or speaking in the workshop, the teacher's role should be to guide and co-investigator of an active and ongoing technical and chemical processes that constantly challenge both for him and his students, so the teacher must always observe the projects of each team making suggestions about how to proceed and where to find the solution to the problems posed by the lithographic process.

To guide students through collaborative learning process within the workshop, the teacher should, as shown in Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, perform the following actions:

1. Encouraging students, arousing their interest and attention before introducing a new concept or skill. A good motivational strategy could be to use images of high quality lithographic elaborate on the issue being addressed or present life and work of an artist whose artistic project that develops in the lithographic technique. Generating in them a desire to consider challenges to the draft class, her mind flying becoming distant from the common barriers such as technical difficulty, format and time thanks to the great possibilities offered by collaborative learning.

2. Provide students with practical experience before starting the explanation of an abstract idea or procedure. This requires a demonstration and results of previous studies which indicate what should and should not be done, as is the case of records, which process the single instruction the student fails to understand why it was used, should then show the results of a good record.

3. Verify that you understand and will listen actively for the explanations and demonstrations. A simple way is to ask students to complete the steps in a chemical process, or to question them directly about what might happen or not if not well implemented a trial on the sheets of zinc among others.

4. Giving students the opportunity to reflect and practice the new information, concepts or skills. For this you can create technical problems the student deliberately so that this will see the need to analyze and find the best solution. You can also establish a project involving students demonstrating their skills and management of a specific process of the art.

5. Review before evaluating a project. Evaluate a project around the room asking questions about both successes and failures in order to educate the student perception to the work done by adopting a critical stance to their own work and time to present their level of presentation is more professional.

6. Efficiently cover the contents of the workshop, where students alternate bibliographies can enlarge constantly compare and discuss theoretical and practical processes of the course.

7. Make a summary after the evaluation of a subject, ensuring that students have learned from your evaluation or project. It should be a review session for example, chemically processed stone to be affixed, asking students to help each other to perform all the steps correctly, in order to achieve one of the main goals of collaborative learning is that the help peers learn.


To prepare a collaborative class session, teachers can use the silver steps by Johnson and Johnson:

Making decisions before giving instructions. Before each session: make your goals, decide if it will work in pairs or size of equipment for each project, select a method of grouping students, decide which roles to be performed by team members (artist or printer), fit the room and organize the materials they need for the demonstration and implementation of the project.

Explain the activity. In each session, explain to the students: the activity, the criteria to evaluate the behaviors expected to arise during the project.

Monitor and intervene. While leading the session, each team monitors and intervenes when necessary to improve the team's work and ensure their understanding of content.


Evaluate the quality and quantity of work performed. Ask students to evaluate the work of his team and make a plan for improvement.

We have used collaborative learning by expanding the theoretical and technical information and with this you can find a way of breaking down formal barriers and also exercise the role of the artist or printer. Through this experience students improve the quality of their artwork, but also their capacity for dialogue and creative thinking from the collaboration with third parties. Finally the artist's working life educator is enhanced by the status of group work and research  which had not faced both the student and the teacher.



1-AGUILAR, José Hernán. Grabado colombiano actual: sentidos de la imagen. Banco de la República, (1993). [En línea].. [Citado el 15 de mayo de 2010].
2- GRIJALVA, Agustín. Reflexiones sobre la pedagogía universitaria, [En línea].
< http://www.ifeanet.org/publicaciones/boletines/28(3)/451.pdf> [Citado el 8 de noviembre del 2009].
3-AGUILAR, José Hernán. Grabado colombiano actual: sentidos de la imagen. Banco de la República, (1993). [En línea].. [Citado el 15 de mayo de 2010].
4- GRIJALVA, Agustín. Reflexiones sobre la pedagogía universitaria, [En línea].
< http://www.ifeanet.org/publicaciones/boletines/28(3)/451.pdf> [Citado el 8 de noviembre del 2009].
5-SAVATER, Fernando. El valor de educar. Editorial Ariel, S. A, 1997.
6-JOHNSON, David W., and JOHNSON.Frank P. Joining Together: Group Theory and Group Skills. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1997.
7-INSTITUTO TECNOLÓGICO Y DE ESTUDIOS SUPERIORES DE MONTERREY. LAS ESTRATEGIAS Y TÉCNICAS DIDÁCTICAS EN EL REDISEÑO, Aprendizaje Colaborativo. Dirección de Investigación y Desarrollo Educativo. Vicerrectoría Académica. [En línea]. < http://www.itesm.mx/va/dide2/tecnicas_didacticas/ac/Colaborativo.pdf >. [Citado el 3 de junio de 2010].
8- Ibídem. Pág 9.
9-JOHNSON, David W and JOHNSON Frank P. Learning Together and Alone: Cooperative, Competitive, and Individualistic Learning. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.1999.

(Chapter # 1: Manual of Lithography)

By: Yuli Andrea Cadavid Medellin-Colombia

Nontoxic group recorded in Colombia:

http://www.facebook.com/ # / group.php? gid = 320096757753


Associate attachments do not exist

Return to the list