First Advisor

Carol Rae Chislett

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)






Group work in education -- United States, College teaching -- United States, Team learning approach in education -- United States, Education -- United States -- Experimental methods



Physical Description

1 online resource (3, vi, 126 p.)


Groups of students or employees working together to solve problems, gain conceptual understanding, or create new approaches are expected to yield results significantly better than when working individually. Classroom collaboration leads to increased learning and retention, improved interpersonal skills, and enhanced appreciation for and commitment to the educational process. With the increased discussion of its benefits, there is more emphasis on including collaboration in the classroom. The challenge for today's faculty and students is to learn what their roles and expectations are in the successful collaborative environment. The purpose of this study was to design a curriculum for instructors in techniques for creating collaborative environments. In addition to reviewing the current literature to learn about collaborative environments in the college classroom, instructors were interviewed to learn about their experiences and successes with collaborative learning. Information from the literature review and the faculty interviews were used to propose the curriculum. Principles of collaborative learning evident through the literature and the interviews are that it requires trust, development of relationships, conversation, incorporating differences, the teacher as learner, and students be responsible for their own learning. The instructor must be able to create that environment by teaching social and collaborative skills, being willing to self-disclose, assessing where students are and by taking care of technical tasks such as preplanning, assigning students to groups, designing collaborative activities and evaluating results of the collaborative process, the group's product and the individual's contribution. Caffarella's (1994) interactive model for program development provided the structure for the development of the curriculum. Through the application of the model, curriculum ideas were explored and narrowed into the development of the program objectives. Transfer of learning activities incorporated into the curriculum are reliant upon intense practice of collaborative skills throughout the course. The learning is experiential.


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