Collaborative Learning

A learning process where learning activities are expressly designed for and carried out through pairs or small interactive groups as students move toward intended learning outcomes. Teachers design creative, challenging, and effective group assignments that encourage positive interdependence and individual accountability among learners.

Evidence Base for Collaborative Learning:

Articles & Websites

Lomas, Cyprien “Collaboration Tools.” Educause Learning Initiative, ELI Paper 2: 2008. This paper describes web-based tools for collaboration that build on ways students currently use technology. Descriptions of various tools, their salient features and uses in education are provided based on the activities and opportunities they enable including immediacy, enhanced voice communications, ambient communications, image sharing, document construction, social interaction, or geographic richness.

Swanson, Mary Catherine The AVID Classroom: a System of Academic and Social Supports for Low-Achieving Students. 1993: EDRS. ED 368 832. The report discusses the origins and early replication of AVID-Advancement Via Individual Determination—a program that places previously low-achieving students in college prep classes. AVID classes emphasize the writing process, inquiry methods, and collaborative groups along with explicit instruction in ‘college knowledge,’ and social scaffolds supporting student placement.

Pedagogy in Action: the SERC Portal for Educators A project of the Science Education Research Center (SERC) at Carlton College, Pedagogy in Action features an extensive online library including teaching methods, activities, and research on learning, and an interactive pedagogic service which allows educators to create, contribute and customize learning activities using the SERC Content Management System.


Barkley, Elizabeth F. et. al. (2005). Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Fransisco: Jossey- Bass.

Richardson, Will (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, 3rd Edition. London: SAGE Ltd.