Collaborative Learning vs. “Collaborative” Learning

How do you define collaborative learning? What makes a one type of collaborative learning more effective than the other? According to, collaborative learning is “Cooperative arrangement in which learners of different abilities and interests work jointly in small groups to complete a project or solve a problem.” I think the typical definition or the one that immediately comes to mind when you hear collaborative learning is a group of individuals work together to reach a common goal. That is the basic definition of collaborative learning.

Collaborative learning has now taken on some other meanings, but still holds the same outcome. Now collaborative learning is “collaboratively” bringing together different techniques, different abilities, different interests, and more like the business definition stated earlier. Collaborative learning is much more than putting a few students together to work on a project to turn in as a whole. It has taken on a new, broader definition. It is now a process, a way of completing a task. It is now a tool as well. It involves blending together talents, skills, interests, level of intelligence, and more within a group, team, droves, and ideas. It is no longer physically putting something together, but mentally and emotionally.

Collaborative learning has always been around in the classroom, but it wasn’t really “collaborative” learning when people were in the actual workplace. The actual term is just transcending from one platform to another.

Whether you define collaborative learning as its basic definition or as a process that occurs at the office, or even the battlefields; collaborative learning is “collaborative” learning. They are one in the same.

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