Group Work & Collaborative Learning

Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning encourages students to effectively work with peers, help each other learn, and feel a sense of belonging to a learning community. These benefits for students extend to in-person, online, and hybrid settings. You can design collaborative learning activities for pairs, small groups, or larger groups. Peer learning, or peer instruction, is a type of collaborative learning that involves students working in pairs or small groups to discuss concepts or find solutions to problems.

Active Learning

Active learning methods engage students and help them learn more effectively in-person, online, or hybrid settings. Instructors can adapt many active learning strategies in online courses. Online active learning can also provide new ways for students to interact, participate, and collaborate.

Group Work

Students working in small groups often learn more and demonstrate better knowledge retention. Group work provides students a sense of shared purpose that can improve morale and increase motivation. Explore ways to create and manage groups, design group work assignments, and evaluate group work. In addition, view examples of collaborative learning and group work activities, and a group work rubric.


Meaningful class discussions teach students how to express concepts and ideas in their own words, develop reasoning skills, examine diverse perspectives, and purposefully respond to others.

Problem-Based Learning

Problem-based learning asks students to work on open-ended, complex problems, usually in teams.

Increasing Student Motivation and Participation

Increase student motivation and participation in the learning experience, to help students realize what to expect, recognize how course content relates to their future, and identify how they can succeed.

Using Effective Questions

Use effective questions in class to stimulate student thinking, identify misunderstandings, and prompt further exploration or action.

Writing Assignments

Incorporate writing assignments in class to help students express their thoughts and conclusions, develop critical thinking, and build on their reasoning abilities.

Large Courses

Even though there are significantly more students to manage in large lecture courses, it is still possible to complete short activities that provide opportunities for students to engage with the material in meaningful ways. Different methods can be used to build community and reduce anonymity in large courses.