is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Unlike individual learning, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.). More specifically, collaborative learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles. Put differently, collaborative
Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, — for example, an intriguing endeavor that is creative in nature—by sharing...
learning refers to methodologies and environments
Collaborative methods are processes, behaviors and conversations that relate to collaboration between individuals. These methods specifically aim to increase the success of teams as they engage in collaborative problem solving...
in which learners engage in a common task where each individual depends on and is accountable to each other. These include both face-to-face conversations and computer discussions (online forums, chat rooms, etc.). Methods for examining collaborative learning processes include conversation analysis
Conversation analysis is the study of talk in interaction . CA generally attempts to describe the orderliness, structure and sequential patterns of interaction, whether institutional or in casual conversation.Inspired by ethnomethodology Conversation analysis (commonly abbreviated as CA) is the...
and statistical discourse analysis.
Collaborative learning is heavily rooted in Vygotsky’s views that there exists an inherent social nature of learning which is shown through his theory of zone of proximal development
“The zone of proximal development defines functions that have not matured yet, but are in a process of maturing. The zone of proximal development , often abbreviated ZPD, is the difference between what a learner can do without help and what he or she can do with help...
. Often, collaborative learning is used as an umbrella term for a variety of approaches in education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...
that involve joint intellectual effort by students or students and teachers. Thus, collaborative learning is commonly illustrated when groups of students work together to search for understanding, meaning, or solutions or to create an artifact or product of their learning. Further, collaborative learning redefines traditional student-teacher relationship in the classroom which results in controversy over whether this paradigm is more beneficial than harmful. Collaborative learning activities can include collaborative writing, group projects, joint problem solving, debates, study teams,and other activities. The approach is closely related to cooperative learning
Cooperative learning is an approach to organizing classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences. Students must work in groups to complete tasks collectively...
Examples of Collaborative Learning
- Collaborative Networked Learning is a form of collaborative learning for the self-directed adult learner. According to Findley (1987) "Collaborative Networked Learning (CNL) is that learning which occurs via electronic dialogue between self-directed co-learners and learners and experts. Learners share a common purpose, depend upon each other and are accountable to each other for their success. CNL occurs in interactive groups in which participants actively communicate and negotiation meaning with one another within a contextual framework which may be facilitated by an online coach, mentor or group leader." In the late 1980s Dr. Charles A. Findley headed the Collaborative Networked Learning project at Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation was a major American company in the computer industry and a leading vendor of computer systems, software and peripherals from the 1960s to the 1990s...
on the East Coast of the United States. Findley's project conducted trend analysis and developed prototypes of collaborative learning environments, which became the basis for their further research and development of what they called Collaborative Networked Learning (CNL),
Youth directed collaboration, another form of self-directed organizing and learning, relies on a novel, more radical concept of youth voice
Youth voice refers to the distinct ideas, opinions, attitudes, knowledge, and actions of young people as a collective body. The term youth voice often groups together a diversity of perspectives and experiences, regardless of backgrounds, identities, and cultural differences...
- Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is a relatively new educational paradigm within collaborative learning which uses technology in a learning environment to help mediate and support group interactions in a collaborative learning context. CSCL systems use technology to control and monitor interactions, to regulate tasks, rules, and roles, and to mediate the acquisition of new knowledge. Most recently, one study showed that using robots in the classroom to promote collaborative learning led to an increase in learning effectiveness of the activity and an increase in the student’s motivation. Researchers and practitioners in several fields, including cognitive sciences, sociology, computer engineering have begun to investigate CSCL, thus, it constitutes a new trans-disciplinary field.
- Learning Management System
A learning management system is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, and reporting of training programs, classroom and online events, e-learning programs, and training content...
s is a context that gives collaborative learning particular meaning. In this context, collaborative learning refers to a collection of tools which learners can use to assist, or be assisted by others. Such tools include Virtual Classrooms (i.e. geographically distributed classrooms linked by audio-visual network connections), chat, discussion threads, application sharing (e.g. a colleague projects spreadsheet on another colleague’s screen across a network link for the purpose of collaboration), among many others.
- Collaborative Learning Development Enables developers of learning systems to work as a network. Specifically relevant to e-learning where developers can share and build knowledge into courses in a collaborative environment. Knowledge of a single subject can be pulled together from remote locations using software systems. An example of this could be Content point from Atlantic Link
- Collaborative Learning in Virtual Worlds Virtual Worlds by their nature provide an excellent opportunity for collaborative learning. At first learning in virtual worlds was restricted to classroom meetings and lectures, similar to their counterparts in real life. Now collaborative learning is evolving as companies starting to take advantage of unique features offered by virtual world spaces - such as ability to record and map the flow of ideas, use 3D models and virtual worlds mind mapping tools.
- Collaborative learning in thesis circle
A thesis circle involves a number of students and at least one professor, lecturer or instructor who collaborate in supervising and coaching final projects...
s in higher education is another example of people learning together. In a thesis circle, a number of students work together with at least one professor or lecturer, to collaboratively coach and supervise individual work on final (e.g. undergraduate or MSc) projects. Students switch frequently between their role as co-supervisor of other students and their own thesis work (incl. receiving feedback from other students).
Collaborative scripts structure collaborative learning by creating roles and mediating interactions while allowing for flexibility in dialogue and activities. Collaborative scripts are used in nearly all cases of collaborative learning some of which are more suited for face-to-face collaborative learning—usually, more flexible—and others for computer-supported collaborative learning—typically, more constraining. Additionally, there are two broad types of scripts: macro-scripts and micro-scripts. Macro-scripts aim at creating situations within which desired interactions will occur. Micro-scripts emphasize activities of individual learners.
Conceptual Components of Scripts
- Objectives: Help participants (i.e. learners and teachers) work together to engage in efficient collaboration processes to reach specific objectives.
- Activities: Identify the activities, and possible constraints, for completing the activities. Activities can include summarizing, questioning, giving an argument, state a claim, etc.
- Sequencing: Explain the expectations of the participants by specifying which activities should be performed and in what order.
- Distribute Roles: Clarify the roles individuals will assume throughout the activity to encourage participants to adopt and consider multiple perspectives.
- Type of Representation: Textual, graphical, or oral representations of explicit instructions are presented to the participants.
- Collaborative information seeking
Collaborative information seeking is a field of research that involves studying situations, motivations, and methods for people working in collaborative groups for information seeking projects, as well as building systems for supporting such activities. Such projects often involve information...
- Collaborative learning in thesis circles
- Computer-supported collaborative learning
Computer-supported collaborative learning is a pedagogical approach wherein learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet. This kind of learning is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as their primary...
- Educational psychology
Educational psychology is the study of how humans learn in educational settings, the effectiveness of educational interventions, the psychology of teaching, and the social psychology of schools as organizations. Educational psychology is concerned with how students learn and develop, often focusing...
- Intergenerational equity
Intergenerational equity in economic, psychological, and sociological contexts, is the concept or idea of fairness or justice in relationships between children, youth, adults and seniors, particularly in terms of treatment and interactions. It has been studied in environmental and sociological...
- Learning by teaching
In professional education, learning by teaching designates currently the method by Jean-Pol Martin that allows pupils and students to prepare and to teach lessons, or parts of lessons...
- Learning circle
The use of a circle as both the organizational structure and descriptive metaphor for a meeting of equals is likely to have been a part of our history for as long as fire has. The learning circle is a mechanism for organizing and honoring the collective wisdom of the group and is present in many...
- Teaching for social justice
Teaching for social justice is an educational philosophy designed to promote socioeconomic equality in the learning environment and instill these values in students. Educators may employ social justice instruction to promote unity on campus, as well as mitigate boundaries to the general curriculum...
- The Do Good Gauge
- Youth/adult partnerships
- Ming Ming Chiu
- Elizabeth Cohen
- David Johnson
- Roger Johnson
- Angela O'Donnell
Angela M. O'Donnell is an educational psychologist at Rutgers University who has made substantial contributions to the understanding of collaborative learning , and is the co-author of a widely used introductory textbook...
- Robert Slavin