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Home Classroom Activities Collaborative LearningCollaborative Learning Online
 Collaborative Learning Online

Chickering and Gamson, who authored the widely distributed "7 Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education," argue that one of the principles of good practice is to "encourage active learning."

In an active learning environment, whether it is online or face-to-face, learning is centered around the student. Active learning engages students in creating knowledge. Rather than watching video or listening to a lecture, they are working on projects collaboratively, doing simulations and inquiry-based work.

Online Discussions

Instructors often struggle to add interaction to a discussion board. Online discussions can go beyond just asking a single question and having students respond. To find out more, visit the Teaching Commons page on:


Supporting Online Collaborative Learning

Providing Feedback to Online Groups


Collaborative Learning Online Tools

The following posts from the Instructional Design and Development Blog covers a number of tools and strategies that can support collaborative learning.


Additional Readings

Bender, T. (2003). Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning. Virginia: Stylus Publishing

This book is a useful contribution to the online learning literature base. It will serve as a pedagogically rich resource for both the novice and experienced online educator. The author offers a very balanced view of online discussion as a teaching tool in education. There is an excellent chapter on assessment.

Chism, Nancy. (n.d.). Handbook for instructors on the use of electronic class discussion.

This website is an excellent, comprehensive resource for online teaching.

DePaul Resources

Faculty Instructional Technology Services (FITS)

  • Consultation and resources on developing online, hybrid, or web-enhanced courses.
  • Design and development of learning activities enriched by technology
  • Resources on developing multimedia curriculum resources