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Home Classroom ActivitiesCollaborative Learning
Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning goes by many names and can assume many forms such as instructor-assigned or ad hoc study groups, in-class informal group work, and/or highly-structured cooperative learning projects that may extend across multiple class sessions or the entire quarter. Regardless of the specific form, collaborative learning involves students working together in small groups towards a common goal. Successful collaborative learning is typically marked by both positive interdependence and individual accountability.

Collaborative Learning Resources

Additional Readings

Barkley, E. F., Cross, K.P., & Major, C.H. (2005). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Johnson, D.W., Maruyama, G., Johnson, R., Nelson, D., & Skon, L. (1981). Effects of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic goal structures on achievement: A meta-analysisPsychological Bulletin, 89 (1), 47-62.

Natasi, B.K., & Clements, D.H. (1991). Research on cooperative learning: Implications for practice. School Psychology Review, 20 (1), 110-131.

O'Donnell, A., & O'Kelly, J. (1994) Learning from peers: Beyond the rhetoric of positive results. Educational Psychology Review, 6 (4), 321-350.

Slavin, Robert. Cooperative learning: Theory, research and practice. (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Springer, L., Stanne, M.E., & Donovan, S.S. (1999). Effects of small-group learning on undergraduates in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research. 69 (1). pp 21-51.

DePaul Resources

Faculty Instructional Technology Services (FITS)

  • Strategies for structuring collaborative learning in online and distance learning

Office for Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA)

  • Resources and research on collaborative learning
  • Supplemental Instruction
  • Training for peer mentors in collaborative learning pedagogies

Supplemental Instruction (SI)

  • Helps students in historically difficult classes master content while they develop and integrate learning and study strategies
  • Trains model students to lead study sessions based on collaborative learning pedagogies