Collaborative learning is an educational approach to teaching and learning
that involves groups of learners working together to solve a problem, complete a
task, or create a product. Collaborative learning is
based on the idea that learning is a naturally social act in which the
participants talk among themselves. It is through the talk that
There are many approaches to collaborative learning:
Thus, in a collaborative learning setting, learners have the
opportunity to converse with peers, present and defend ideas, exchange diverse
beliefs, question other conceptual frameworks, and be actively engaged.
- Learning is an active process whereby learners assimilate the information
and relate this new knowledge to a framework of prior knowledge.
- Learning requires a challenge that opens the door for the learner to
actively engage his/her peers, and to process and synthesize information rather
than simply memorize and regurgitate it.
- Learners benefit when exposed to diverse viewpoints from people with varied
- Learning flourishes in a social environment where conversation between
learners takes place. During this intellectual gymnastics, the learner creates a
framework and meaning to the discourse.
- In the collaborative learning environment, the learners are challenged both
socially and emotionally as they listen to different perspectives, and are
required to articulate and defend their ideas. In so doing, the learners begin
to create their own unique conceptual frameworks and not rely solely on an
expert's or a text's framework.
Source: National Institute for Science Education