Collaborative learning is based on the view that knowledge is a social construct. Collaborative activities are most often based on four principles.

  • The learner or student is the primary focus of instruction.
  • Interaction and “doing” are of primary importance
  • Working in groups is an important mode of learning.
  • Structured approaches to developing solutions to real-world problems should be incorporated into learning.
Why Would I Use Collaborative Learning?
Research shows that educational experiences that are active, social, contextual, engaging and student-owned lead to deeper learning.
When I Use Collaborative Learning?
Collaborative learning can occur peer-to-peer or in larger groups. Peer learning, or peer instruction, is a type of collaborative learning that involves students working in pairs or small groups to discuss concepts, or find solutions to problems. This often occurs in a class session after students are introduced to course material through readings or videos before class, and/or through instructor lectures.

Krista Hoffmann-Longtin

Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis