Collaborative learning refers to introducing group work and project-based learning activities that promote collective problem-solving. Group work involves breaking up a class into pairs or small groups of students to work together on a common goal, while project-based learning refers to a student or small group of students working over time on a project that integrates core disciplinary knowledge, ideally in an applied and real-world way.
Both group work and project-based learning are essential to developing engaging and learning-rich courses that are globally linked and prepare students for fields where collaboration is an essential component. Research shows that collaborative learning can help students to confront misconceptions, develop communication skills, and negotiate knowledge in a social way among diverse perspectives (see more at Carnegie Mellon U’s page on group work).
The key to collaborative learning is to create meaningful problems or activities that make the content relevant to students. Our Office works with faculty members to design and develop such enhancements, including introducing semester-long projects that small groups plan, prototype, and present, real-world data collection assignments across global sites, and role-playing of realistic scenarios. See our Google apps , Maker tools, Web publishing, and Web/video conferencing pages for information on tools.
- German through History: project-based learning through video production [NYU CAS – German]
- Museums and Communities: Prof. Glenn Wharton talks of incorporating peer review, design teams, and project-based learning [NYU GSAS – Museum Studies]
- Team-based learning in Religion and Statistics courses, Duke University
Templates & Guides
- Project-based learning guide (with links to templates), from NYU FAS Office of Ed Tech
- Grading methods for group work, from Carnegie Mellon University
- Peer review templates, from Carleton College
- Problem-based learning, from University of Delaware
- Team building strategies, from Duke University
- Team-based learning site
- Think-pair-share activity, from the University of Texas
- Using peer review to reduce instructor assessment time, from UCLA
- Allen, D., Duch, B., and Groh, S. The Power of Problem-Based Learning in Teaching Introductory Science Courses. In L. Wilkerson and W. Gijselaers (Eds.), Bringing Problem-Based Learning to Higher Education: Theory and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.
- Bosworth, K. Developing Collaborative Skills in College Students. In K. Bosworth and S. Hamilton (Eds.), Collaborative Learning: Underlying Processes and Effective Techniques.
- Caruso, H.M., & Wooley, A.W. (2008). Harnessing the power of emergent interdependence to promote diverse team collaboration. Diversity and Groups, 11: 245-266.
- Ciston, S. (2014). Building Teamwork Process Skills in Students. The Berkeley Teaching Blog.
- Smith, K. Cooperative Learning: Making ‘Groupwork’ Work. In T. Sutherland and C. Bonwell, Using Active Learning in College Classes: A Range of Options for Faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996.
- Wenger, E., McDermott, R. & Snyder, W.M., (2002). Cultivating communities of practice. Boston: Harvard University Press.