For Students

What is Collaborative Learning (CoL)?

Collaborative learning (CoL) is where students work in pairs or groups to solve a problem or to achieve a common learning objective (Barkley et al., 2005). For students engaged in collaborative learning, there will be:
  1. Effective Group Processes
  2. Individual and Group Accountability of Learning


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What are some indicators of CoL?

Students who engage in collaborative learning might display some of the following behaviours:

Construct 1: Effective Group Processes1. When a student works in a group,
  • he/she listens carefully to ideas from his/her group members;
  • he/she asks questions to better understand his/her group members’ ideas;
  • he/she shares ideas with his/her group members;
  • everyone agrees on what everyone must do;
  • everyone discusses how they will do the group work;
  • he/she completes the work that he/she needs to do;
  • he/she uses computing tools (e.g. discussion forums, MSN Messenger, wikis) to discuss with his/her group members on what needs to be done for their project;
  • he/she uses computing tools (e.g. discussion forums, MSN Messenger, wikis) to work with his/her group members to complete a project;
  • he/she uses computing tools (e.g. discussion forums, MSN Messenger, wikis) to gather information for their project from people outside his/her school; and/or
  • he/she uses computing tools (e.g. discussion forums, MSN Messenger, wikis) to share his/her thoughts with his/her group members on how they can work better together.

Construct 2: Individual and Group Accountability of Learning2. When a student works in a group,
  • he/she tries to help his/her group members to complete the group’s work; and/or
  • he/she uses computing tools (e.g. discussion forums, MSN Messenger, wikis) to check if his/her group members have completed their work.
3. At the end of a project, the group discusses how well they have worked together and how they could have worked better together.