Collaborative Activities and Strategies To Improve Learning In-Person and Online

Collaborative activities are any activities where learners are working co-operatively in pairs or groups. For example: Pair or group discussions. Completing shared tasks in a pair or group, e.g. matching, sorting, ranking. Activities or games with a competitive element, e.g. bingo.

Students are led by the Visual Prompt through a detailed examination of an Students gain context awareness, strengthen their ability to think critically, improve their observation and interpretation skills, and establish conceptual learning strategies through this learning activity. Any visual medium, such as a work of art, a photograph, a political cartoon, a propaganda poster, or a video clip, can be used with this technique.

Guided notes are written by the instructor (or the student) and outline lectures, presentations, or readings, but they also leave space for the students to fill in important terms, definitions, and other information. Guided Notes encourage participation in class or independent reading, offer thorough and accurate notes for use as a study aid, and assist students in determining the most crucial information covered.

When it comes to an iceberg, only the tip is visible above the water while the majority is hidden beneath the surface. According to the iceberg theory, crucial data or information may be withheld from consideration in order to properly assess a situation, a problem, or an event. The iceberg diagram teaching method challenges students to delve beneath the surface in order to become aware of the many underlying causes that result in a concept, event, topic, or circumstance.

7 Activities for collaboration – 4C’s and Skills Based Learning

What are the benefits of collaborative learning?

The results of collaborative learning are typically impressive in terms of both the final product and workplace culture. With this approach, diversity is valued and cooperation toward a common goal is encouraged. Both at the individual and organizational levels, its use has benefits. Here are four benefits of using collaborative learning:

Broadens knowledge base

A person’s background, education, and experiences all contribute to their knowledge base. Because collaboration enables people to share their knowledge, it increases understanding throughout the entire group. Additionally, learning from peers increases retention.

Improves relationships

Because it allows people to get to know one another, collaborative learning fosters good workplace relationships. Peers and coworkers have the chance to meet new people and learn how valuable each one can be.

Increases employee retention

Employee retention means less turnover. Collaboration-friendly environments increase retention rates because they improve individual comprehension and performance. Collaboration inevitably fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty, which is also likely to increase employee retention.

Offers practice receiving feedback

The ability to accept and receive feedback is a common improvement tool, and it is essential to both individual and organizational success. Working collaboratively allows people to practice giving and receiving feedback. Regular practice is likely to result in improvement.

How collaborative learning differs from cooperative learning?

In contrast to cooperative learning, collaborative learning emphasizes how each individual contributes to the group. The two approaches, which both involve group interaction, can seem very similar. Individuals within a group each produce their own portion of a larger group product in cooperative learning environments.

Each group member contributes their individual knowledge, information, skills, and ideas during collaborative learning. Sharing these things expands whole-group understanding and knowledge. Everyone collaborates to resolve issues and complete products or tasks using their newly acquired knowledge and abilities.

Five collaborative learning activities

Here are five interesting exercises in group learning that you can use in your instruction or training:

1. Socratic seminar

Socratic seminars are a type of learner-led discussion. A facilitator or trainer presents an idea while the group members are seated in a circle. They pose a series of inquiries and give participants the opportunity to elaborate by speaking, challenging one another, sharing personal experiences, and considering what is said by others.

This collaborative activity stems from the Greek philosopher Socrates. Socrates thought that inquiry-based learning was more meaningful and thought-provoking than lecture-only instruction. Using Socratic seminars promotes critical thinking, authentic engagement and collaboration.

2. Listening triangle

Three-person groups are catered for by the listening triangle’s design. In this group project, participants discuss issues and gather data in groups of three. Multiple topics related to the overall training theme are prepared by the facilitator or group trainer, who presents them to the groups one at a time.

As a response, each member of the triangle alternates between speaking, asking questions, and taking notes. Collaboration requires that each group member rotates through each role. Here are the main duties for each role:

3. Think-pair-share

Before forming groups, participants in the multi-step collaborative tool think-pair-share must have access to the discussion topics. By completing a task, participants in this activity first respond to a subject, query, notion, or area of concern. This assignment could involve making a slideshow, writing an essay, or filling out a notepad or journal entry.

A facilitator may also ask participants to gather source material. After presenting information for the group to consider, the facilitator or trainer pairs participants. They converse and exchange their distinct thoughts and experiences in pairs.

4. Silent debate

Participants in this collaborative technique must communicate their ideas without speaking. Four to ten large posters are hung on a room’s walls by the instructor or teacher. Each poster should contain a question or statement, leaving the majority of the paper blank. Each participant is given a marker by the facilitator, and they are instructed to move around the room and silently respond to any posters that intrigue or interest them.

Each person walks around the room again and writes responses to the comments, stories, and queries that their peers have shared after everyone has given their initial responses. The advantage of performing this task in silence is that everyone in the group will have an equal opportunity to voice their opinions. The final stage of this activity is an oral review or discussion that summarizes the findings from the group.

5. Rainbow research

A cooperative activity for large groups of between 21 and 140 people is called rainbow research. The facilitator or trainer divides the entire group into seven teams, giving each team member one of the rainbow’s seven colors. Teams are allotted a certain amount of time to examine and research a subject, issue, or challenge.

New groups will form when the time is up, and this time people will meet up with others who have the same color assignment. The new team discusses and builds upon the research and conclusions from their initial groups.

The groups will change again, making new rainbows. The facilitator will assign the teams a task in this last configuration, and they will have to use their combined knowledge to finish it. You have the option of publicly disclosing the task results or publishing them online.

Strategies for creating a collaborative environment

Here are five methods for creating a collaborative learning environment that you can apply while leading, training, or instructing:

Identify a group goal

A goal offers people something to strive for. Establishing a group objective provides direction and guarantees that everyone is working toward the same outcome. Group goals naturally encourage collaboration.

Build trust

When team members trust one another, they can feel safe from harm or ridicule. Teams with a high level of trust allow members to freely share their ideas. Effective communication and collaboration depend on the sharing of ideas and information.

Consider individual strengths

Every team member brings different experiences, talents, and skills to the table. When designing groups, consider these strengths. Ideal collaborative groups should have a range of experience, expertise, and skill levels. This type of group structuring encourages collaboration because it allows participants to learn from one another.

Scaffold information

A step-by-step instructional technique called scaffolding recommends building one concept upon another. The person instructing or training the group sets the initial tone for collaboration. Everyone in the group must comprehend the material they are working with in order to contribute value. When instructing or training, use scaffolding to make information easier to understand and encourage participant independence with the subject.

Establish expectations

Expectations are guidelines for behavior and performance. Prior to beginning a task or project, a group should establish clear expectations for collaboration to help set the tone. Inform everyone that they will be working in groups and describe what that should sound and look like. If you make people aware of your expectations in advance, they are more likely to display the behaviors you desire.

How to cultivate collaboration online

Virtual settings can benefit from the five methods for fostering a collaborative learning environment. If you are training or teaching online, you can do the following five things to foster collaboration:

1. Facilitate regular ice-breakers

Short activities known as “ice-breakers” are used to help people establish personal connections. Ice-breakers are frequently used in virtual teams to help people connect and get to know one another. This develops trust, which is essential for collaboration.

2. Use break-out grouping

Break-out rooms are a feature of many online meeting platforms. By breaking up a larger group into smaller break-out groups, the facilitator can modify cooperative exercises for an online group, such as listening triangles or rainbow research.

3. Assign brain-teaser twins

This is an ongoing collaborative activity. The teacher divides the group into pairs, referring to each pair as twins. The twins work together to solve a unique challenge or riddle each time the online class meets.

4. Use an interactive white-board

A typical screen-sharing option in online meeting platforms is an interactive whiteboard. Participants annotate and interact with the presenter’s shared screen This simulates standing up to the board in a traditional classroom setting. The silent debate activity can be modified by facilitators for an online group using interactive whiteboards.

5. Give video assignments

A video assignment is a task that is finished and then recorded on video. By showing these videos, the participants can interact and establish connections with other students. The regularity of this type of assignment fosters and preserves the sense of community and trust necessary for collaboration.

Team-building exercises to improve collaboration

Team-building activities strengthen relationships and participation within a team or group. Typically, they are challenges or games with no immediate connection to outcomes in school or at work. The goal of team-building exercises is to establish and uphold a foundation of harmony. This can improve the overall effectiveness of collaborative activities. Here are three team-building exercises for you to consider:

Escape room

An escape room is a critical thinking adventure game. To unlock a door, participants must work together to solve a series of puzzles, riddles, and physical challenges. In-person challenges, escape room kits, and custom challenges are all options for facilitators.

Scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are interactive games that encourage participants to leave the office or classroom. Teams collaborate to find objects, solve puzzles, and explore different areas. Scavenger hunts are used by facilitators to foster camaraderie and community and to promote friendly competition.

Unsolved mystery

This is an investigative team-building game. A learning community is divided into small groups by the facilitator, who then clarifies a made-up mystery. Participants interpret clues and evidence to solve the case. In-person challenges, ready-made kits, and custom challenges are all options for facilitators.


What is the importance of collaborative activities?

The advantages of collaborative learning include the improvement of leadership, self-control, oral communication, and higher order thinking abilities. Promotion of student-faculty interaction. Increase in student retention, self-esteem, and responsibility.

What are examples of online collaboration activities?

3 Top And Proven Collaboration Activities
  1. Learner Website/ePortfolio. An ePortfolio can be a very effective tool in your students’ toolbox and serve as a collaboration hub for other courses.
  2. Location Based Games – Augmented Learning. …
  3. Discussion forums.

What are the characteristics of collaborative activities?

Key features of collaborative learning
  • The purpose of the activity.
  • Individual learning goals.
  • Friendships and working relationships.
  • Facilitating that building of new relationships.
  • Delegation of particular skills and strengths.

What is collaborative working in a classroom?

A collaborative classroom is one in which students actively collaborate with one another and an instructor in a stimulating environment for group learning.

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