Collaborative learning techniques
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Collaborative Learning Techniques. CoLTs. What is Collaborative Learning?. To collaborate is to work with others, usually in pairs or small groups, to achieve shared learning goals. It assumes intentional design. It assumes co-laboring. It assumes that meaningful learning occurs.

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Collaborative Learning Techniques

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Collaborative learning techniques

Collaborative Learning Techniques


What is collaborative learning

What is Collaborative Learning?

  • To collaborate is to work with others, usually in pairs or small groups, to achieve shared learning goals.

  • It assumes intentional design.

  • It assumes co-laboring.

  • Itassumes that meaningful learning occurs.



  • Collaborative learning assumes that truth is “not out there” waiting to be found.

  • Collaborative learning assumes that knowledge is “socially produced by consensus among knowledgeable peers.”

College environments

College Environments

  • Research suggests that “students who get the most out of college, who grow the most academically, and who are happiest, organize their time to include interpersonal activities with faculty members, or with fellow students built around substantive, academic work” (pg. 6).

  • Light, R.J. (1992). The Harvard Assessment Seminars, 2nd report. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, Graduate School of Education and Kennedy School of Government.

Student roles

Student Roles

  • Become active problem solvers, contributors, discussants

  • Have high expectations of preparation for class

  • Develop a public presence with many risks

  • Understand that attendance dictated by community expectations

  • Value collaborative work with peers

  • Accept responsibilities and self-definition associated with learning interdependently

  • See peers, self, and community as additional and important sources of authority and knowledge

Syllabus review

Syllabus Review

  • Course information is a great way to set the tone from day one that this is a collaborative learning environment.

  • Form groups and ask students to generate a list of questions about the syllabus.

  • Ask them to create a quiz on important questions on the syllabus.

  • Collect questions and give a short quiz on the courses policies and expectations based on the questions submitted by the students.

Establishing group work ground rules

Establishing Group Work Ground Rules

  • Try a Group Learning Contract

  • Group size – usually 2-4 students is best BUT size of group depends on duration and complexity of the task

  • Selecting group members: random, student selection, instructor determined

  • Heterogeneous vs homogeneous groups

  • Forming groups in large lecture hall

Six common group roles

Six Common Group Roles

  • Facilitator

  • Recorder

  • Reporter

  • Timekeeper

  • Folder Monitor

  • Wildcard



  • Barkley, Elizabeth, K. Patricia Cross, and Claire Howell Major. Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco: CA: Jossey-Bass, 2005.

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