collaborative learning

Collaboration Tools

The Harvard Law School Library provides a digest of collaboration tools to assist with organization.

Ethical Collaboration (Usable Knowledge)

Harvard Graduate School of Education's Usable Knowledge discusses ethical collaboration and offers examples to help instructors understand students' pressure to achieve.

Encouraging students to engage with one another to solve problems (and problem sets)


Cassandra ExtavourCassandra G. Extavour, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is one of six co-instructors for LIFESCI 50(A & B) Integrated Science, an intensive two-semester course created by Andrew Murray, Herschel Smith Professor of Molecular Genetics, covering methods and concepts from biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. They design class discussion and assignments as problems that require students to rely on one another to solve. "We let them know it's normal to not be able to answer everythingon the problem sets on their own. We've structured them that way. They learn to engage with classmates, or with us, to work it out."... Read more about Encouraging students to engage with one another to solve problems (and problem sets)

Lending structure to collaborative work


Kathy Boudett, Into PracticeKathryn Parker Boudett, Lecturer on Education, carefully structures the way students learn to collaborate with one another in her course, Data Wise: Using Data to Improve Teaching and Learning. For example, she models collaborative learning through an open discussion of student feedback, or “pluses and deltas,” collected in the previous session with the whole class. She also makes sure students receive plenty of experience putting into practice the ideas from one of the core texts for the course, Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators. She does this by teaching them to use “rolling agendas” (which can be used by student groups working in any discipline) via Google Docs. The template makes it easy for students ... Read more about Lending structure to collaborative work

Research: Enhancing teaching and learning through dialogue: a student and staff partnership model

Researchers describe and analyze a model for developing student–staff partnerships to enhance teaching and learning, where students act as consultants providing timely and focused feedback to instructors on aspects of their practice, finding that face-to-face follow-up meetings produced the best...

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Leveraging individual strengths in collaborative projects


Jie Li, Into PracticeJie Li, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, provides students with multiple opportunities to collaborate in General Education course AI 63 East Asian Cinema. Students have the option to collaborate in groups of four to five, on projects such as a short film or screenplay, for their weekly and final assignments.

The benefits: In groups, students can experience different roles in the filmmaking process (director, videographer, editor, actor) and combine their diverse talents and interests. “I try to get students to learn about film by making a film. You can only get one perspective working as an individual. In groups,... Read more about Leveraging individual strengths in collaborative projects

Leveraging student heterogeneity to bridge gaps through active learning


Marianne Wessling-ResnickMarianne Wessling-Resnick, Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, employs active learning strategies including debate, ‘pair and share,’ and peer evaluation to bridge gaps in student experience and knowledge. “I have found that it is to my advantage to use the heterogeneity of the class as a tool.”

The benefits: Students enrolled in graduate courses at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health represent diverse academic preparation and intended career tracks, illustrated in matrix form to prospective students. “No matter what part of the quadrant you are in... Read more about Leveraging student heterogeneity to bridge gaps through active learning

Pair and Share (ablConnect)

The ablConnect database highlights Harvard examples of active learning strategies including debate, pair and share, and peer instruction. 

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