The ideal collaboration between students–what would it look like?
Short and simple: Kagan teams.
When using Kagan structures I began to see the exact kinds of student collaboration I had always wanted to see in my rooms. It was what I hoped for each time I put students in groups to work together and rarely if ever got.
While using Kagan structures my students learned to all take a turn, no one got to skip a turn, everyone had to participate and respond to others there was no sitting back and letting everyone else do the work. Students who had previously been afraid to volunteer when I asked a question of the whole class began to do so. Students others had overlooked because they were quiet or shy began to be looked at as someone who had something worthwhile to contribute.
For me the ideal collaboration results in all students learning together and from one another. Students all assist with whatever the project or end goal is and take pride in their team.