Collaborative Summaries refers to a group activity where students can create an academic summary through collaboration. This activity is for the students to reflect on their learning during a defined period. By working collaboratively, each student gets to make their contribution to the summary.
Collaborative Summaries can also be time-saving as there is a division of responsibilities amongst students. Some members can write while others go through the vocabulary and grammar use along with clarity of ideas.
Collaborative summaries as an approach are widely used at the university level to hone students’ writing skills.
The process of writing a collaborative summary usually has 4-5 steps. The first is skimming and scanning. Students skim through the article in this step. This step aims to make them familiar with the article. Then comes careful reading. It requires students to sit collectively to understand the article and share ideas.
Another benefit of careful reading is that by working together, students can work on their linguistic knowledge. The third step is the verbal summarization. Every student gets a chance to summarise while the others listen carefully and ask for clarification if need be. The fourth step is all about collaborative summary writing. The final step is editing and checking for completeness and clarity. This is a useful activity that can be incorporated in classrooms to increase teamwork and inclusiveness.