Collaborative Learning

Students use technology tools to collaborate with others rather than working individually at all times.

The Collaborative characteristic describes the degree to which technology is used to facilitate, enable, or enhance students’ opportunities to work with peers and outside experts. This characteristic considers the use of conventional collaborative technology tools as well as other kinds of technology tools that assist students working with others.

This page provides greater detail about the Collaborative learning characteristic of the Technology Integration Matrix. To see the entire matrix or to locate other characteristics, return to the Matrix. Descriptors for typical teacher activity, student activity, and instructional settings for Collaborative learning are provided below, along with links to all of the Collaborative learning video lesson pages and additional resources.


Collaborative Learning Descriptors for Each of the Five Levels

Entry Level

Students primarily work alone when using technology. Students may collaborate without using technology tools.

The teacher directs students to work alone on tasks involving technology.

The setting is arranged for direct instruction and individual seat work.

Adoption Level

Students have opportunities to use collaborative tools, such as email, in conventional ways. These opportunities for collaboration with others through technology or in using technology are limited, and are not a regular part of their learning.

The teacher directs students in the conventional use of technology tools for working with others.

The setting allows for the possibility of group work, and at least some collaborative technology tools are available.

Adaptation Level

Students independently use technology tools in conventional ways for collaboration. Students are developing a conceptual understanding of the use of technology tools for working with others.

The teacher provides opportunities for students to use technology to work with others. The teacher selects and provides technology tools for students to use in collaborative ways, and encourages students to begin exploring the use of these tools.

Desks and workstations are arranged so that multiple students can access technology tools simultaneously.

Infusion Level

Technology use for collaboration by students is regular and normal in this setting. Students choose the best tools to use to accomplish their work.

Teacher encourages students to use technology tools collaboratively.

Technology tools that allow for collaboration are permanently located in the setting and are available in sufficient quantities to meet the needs of all students.

Transformation Level

Students regularly use technology tools for collaboration, to work with peers and experts irrespective of time zone or physical distances.

The teacher seeks partnerships outside of the setting to allow students to access experts and peers in other locations, and encourages students to extend the use of collaborative technology tools in higher order learning activities that may not have been possible without the use of technology tools.

Technology tools in this setting connect to text, voice, and video chat applications and network access has sufficient bandwidth to support the use of these technologies for all students simultaneously.