Although there is much variation on the definition of collaborative learning, it typically refers to a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Put differently, collaborative learning refers to methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task where each individual depends on and is accountable to each other to varying degrees (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_learning). Thus, collaborative learning is commonly illustrated when groups of students work together to search for understanding, meaning, or solutions or to create an artifact or product of their learning. Further, collaborative learning redefines the traditional student-teacher relationship in the classroom and can include collaborative writing, group projects, joint problem solving, debates, study teams, and other activities.
This comprehensive collaborative learning workshop guide, developed from the ELI 2009 Fall Focus Session, contains a resource list and five workshop modules intended to reduce some of the extensive work involved in assembling the components and curriculum for such a program. Each of the modules contains topical guidelines, content, resources, and best practices, and each can be easily customized to fit the needs of your institution, department, or unit.