Collaborative Teaching and Learning European Schoolnet Academy My learning diary -Carmen Stanciu

Hello, everybody! My name is Carmen Stanciu and came from Romania.

I am a primary school teacher in a small village near Ploiesti city, not far from Bucharest. The school is old (we celebrate 100 years!!).There are almost 200 pupils from 6 to 15y.o and 15 teachers. My students are first grade-8y. o.My school developed several partnership with local museum and theatre to bring art close to our students and we are proud of our folk group that sings and dances to promote our local traditions. Have a look at our activities...

Our folk dance group( guided me...)

And my 1st grade...

1.What is collaborative learning?Objectives for this module 1:

  • Understand the full meaning of collaborative learning, and that it requires more than teachers simply putting students in groups
  • Appreciate the key benefits collaborative learning can bring to students and the specific skills it helps develop
  • Appreciate how collaborative learning can be facilitated by a flexible, interactive classroom, and also through project-based learning
  • Create a personal Learning Diary to log learning activities, reflections and resources from the course.
  • Reflect in your Learning Diary on two learning activities and whether they require a low or high level of collaboration from students

Collaborative Learning is a process through which learners at various performance levels work together in small groups towards a common goal. It is a learner-centred approach derived from social learning theories as well as a socio-constructivist perspective on learning. Collaborative learning is a relationship among learners that fosters positive interdependence, individual accountability, and interpersonal skills. For collaborative learning to be effective, teaching must be viewed as a process of developing students’ ability to learn. The teacher’s role is not to transmit information, but to serve as a facilitator for learning. This involves creating and managing meaningful learning experiences and stimulating learners’ thinking through real-world problems. The task must be clearly defined and be guided by specific objectives. Sometimes cooperative and collaborative learning are used interchangeably but cooperative work usually involves dividing work among the team members, whilst collaborative work means all team members tackle the problems together in a coordinated effort. (UNESCO Education Glossary)

Collaborative learning contributes to the development of specific skills, including

  • Leadership competences;
  • Self-evaluation;
  • Listening skills;
  • Presentation skills;
  • Skills of persuasion & negotiation;
  • Team working skills.


LEARNING ACTIVITY-2 examples of activities with low or high collaboration among students:

1st (high collaboration) -students have to design a healty food magazine by first analyzing the purpose of healty food, then imagining a modern healty shop. This activity requires a high level of collaboration from students in all activities, because the students, divided in 3 groups of six members,must decide and drow the space and the furniture, prepare a list of healty food categories( fruits,vegetables, cereals etc). Then they organize a ,,shopping day," for parents and teachers. For this event students have to reflect on all process of their project and then creating a grand opening flyer with their conclusions, to ilustrate the different healty food benefit.
2nd(low collaboration)- in groups, students search in their family a local legend about the name of birthplace to create a collection of legends...bad choice-only 2 students got some resource , most parents lacked information,because they had just arrived in our village...
  • Creative Classroom Lab Project, 2013. Collaboration learning model, University of Minho.
  • Davidson & Howell Major 2014. Cooperative, collaborative and problem based learning
  • Prince, P. 2004. Does active learning work? A review of the research.
  • Learning in groups: A handbook for face-to-face and online environments.

Module 2-How can you design collaborative learning in the classroom

This module has helped me to understand the meaning of CL better. Especially CLD Collaboration Rubric was very useful for me. I have understood the whole process of CL better.

2.2 Embedding collaborative learning into lesson design

Do you agree about the importance to have a shared language concerning what we mean by collaborative learning? Do you agree that having collaborative skills is not a personality trait and that you can design learning activities to develop these skills in your pupils? Professor Butler mentions that ‘Technology can support new pedagogies that focus on learners as active participants with tools for inquiry-based pedagogies and collaborative work spaces’. Do you agree, and what are your experiences of this?

I am totally agree with all of you-these skills can and should be learned even though many colleagues and parents are sceptics. But , like dr. Deirdre Butler says, these skills are not going to develop overnight. And yes, the effects are smaller when the students are younger-they are too selfish or prefer individual achievments.


What do you think of the 4 major questions presented by Professor Deirdre Butler? Are they useful in helping you design a collaborative learning activity? Have you asked yourself these questions before when designing collaborative learning activities?

  • Q.1 Are they working together?
  • Q.2 Do they have shared responsibilities?
  • Q.3 Do they make substantive decisins?
  • Q.4 Is their work independent?

I think these 4 questions are very important and helpful to design a collaborative learning activity.

  1. They have to mutually responsible of the outcomes and share the responsibility: this is the team work.
  2. They have to make substantive decisions to solve important problems in their work bu using their own knowledge.
  3. They can make a decision about the process , may be they can build their own method to solve the problem.
  4. In this way, the final product will be unique.

2.4 cLD Collaboration Rubric

I have never used this kind of rubric.Hope I will use time. I think it is very useful, because it gives you elements to evaluate the learning collaborative activity. When I designed an activity for team work I didn't use a rubric to specify the grade of collaboration or its quality, I saw the results if my students reached the goals working together I thought that's ok! But, it is a good idea to use a rubric as the Prof. Dreide suggest. I will try it!!!

The collaboration rubric (code 1 - students work on their own, code 2 - students work in pairs or groups but they don't have shared responsibility; code 3 - students work in pairs or groups, they have shared responsibility but they don't make substantive decisions; code 4 - ​students work in pairs or groups, they have shared responsibility, they make substantive decisions but their work is not interdependent; code 5 - students work in pairs or groups, they have shared responsibility, they make substantive decisions and their work is interdependent) and the codes allow us to figure out which subskills of the collaborative skills are developed during the collaborative learning activity we designed.

2.5 collaborative learning scenarios

I like the scenario template and these examples. There are a lot of new and useful things and it implies a serious work and thinking.I will try to design my learning activity with this template.

The new collaborative scenario (1. Dream 2. Explore 3.Map 4. Make 5. Ask 6. Remake 7. Show) is very inspiring.

  • Dream - brainstorming and sharing ideas;
  • Explore : the students collect information on a certain topic.
  • Map : the students structure their thoughts and ideas and seek to understand how they are releated.
  • Make : the students develop or create a product or practise an activity.
  • Ask to interview experts and skateholders.
  • Remake: the students replan or revisit their product, on the basis of feedback or further information they received.
  • Show: the students publish and present the result of the activity.
Learning Activity

Regarding my two learning activities I believe that learning activity with low level collaboration the code is 1 , since each pupil had to work by himself based on a story of family. In a high level collaboration activity the code is 5, because the pupils organized in groups, they have divided the tasks responsability, have solved problems and created a final product, their work was interdependent, they could reach the goal if there was collaboration into the group and between groups.

very interesting....

  • Collaboration Rubric:
  • Microsoft (2012). 21ST Century Learning Design: 21CLD Learning Activity Rubrics
  • Learning Scenario Template:
  • 6 Example Learning Scenarios:
  • Collaborative work - Towards a healthy city (CCL, Europe) (Polish translation)
  • iGroup - Collaboration and Assessment in a group (CCL, Europe)
  • Personalisation – Topic: friction (CCL, Europe) (Polish translations)
  • Flipped Classroom (CCL, Europe) (Polish translation)
  • Art & Music - Creating an exhibition (NCCA, Ireland), (Polish translation)
  • Asteroids, impacts and craters (NCCA, Ireland), (Polish translation)
  • Resources for the 'Asteroids, impacts and craters' learning scenario:
  • Asteroids Scenario Resource: Fact Sheet
  • Asteroids Scenario Resource: Glosssary of Terms
  • Asteroids Scenario Resource: Physics PowerPoint Presentation
  • Asteroids Scenario Resource: Peer Assessment Sheet

Module 3: How can you assess collaborative learning?

The CO-LAB Guidelines for Assessing Collaborative Learning (developed by Doctor Luis Valente, from the University of Minho), is the key reference document for module 3, and will help you in designing the assessment aspects of your own collaborative learning lesson plan which you will be developing during the rest of the course.

The learning objectives for this module are:

  • Understand the principles of assessing collaborative learning
  • Appreciate the various challenges teachers face in assessing collaborative learning and the tips, tools and solutions available
  • Understand the value of using rubrics and checklists for assessing collaborative learning, and how to construct them
  • Appreciate the importance of involving students in the definition of assessment tools used for collaborative learning
  • Start creating one or more lesson plans integrating collaborative learning and assessment using the Learning Designer

3.3 Assessment for improving collaborative learning

Do you think your assessment of collaborative work sometimes discourages students or encourages competition? If yes, how you do think this could be avoided? Is the assessment you carry out brief, clear and timely, and how do you ensure it is so; do you have tips to suggest for others? Does the summative assessment of each student in your school/subject take into account the learning outcomes related to collaborative work (such as project work/results)?

I do not think that assessment of collaborative work discourage students but it can trigger competition between groups. Having a clear check list with specific criteria will help group and each student to put their weight in. Assessment is clear and timely if checklist and criterias are too. A list of questions can guide students to perform better and help them improve their work. I still need to work on improving the assessment of collaborative learning work. Time to do it is important as often overloaded yearly programme can prevent us from designing effective collaborative work which can be assessed properly.

There are three types of assesment;

Formative Assessment: This occurs in the short term, as learners are in the process of making meaning of new content and of integrating it into what they already know. Feedback to the learner is immediate (or nearly so), to enable the learner to change his/her behavior and understandings right away. Examples: a very interactive class discussion; a warm-up, closure, or exit slip; a on-the-spot performance; a quiz.

Self Assessment: This takes place occasionally throughout a larger time period. Feedback to the learner is still quick, but may not be immediate. Self Assessments tend to be more formal, using tools such as projects, written assignments, and tests. The learner should be given the opportunity to re-demonstrate his/her understanding once the feedback has been digested and acted upon. Self Assessments can help teachers identify gaps in student understanding and instruction, and ideally teachers address these before moving on or by weaving remedies into upcoming instruction and activities. Examples: Chapter test; extended essay; a project scored with a rubric.

Summative Assessment: This takes place at the end of a large chunk of learning, with the results being primarily for the teacher's or school's use. Teachers/schools can use these assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses of curriculum and instruction, with improvements affecting the next year's/term's students. Examples: Standardized testing, Final exams; Major cumulative projects, research projects, and performances.

3.4 A sports teacher's experience of assessing students’ collaborative learning

In collaborative learning, evaluation must be based on teamwork and on individual work. Then, the teacher and the students can't allow that some students leave their responsibility and make others work individually. For that, students must know the evaluation criteria from the beginning of the process in order to be able to collaborate while their learning continuously. To make our students aware of these evaluation criteria, we, as teachers, should ask them some direct questions. I think that Chrysa planned her project design in a very careful and appropriate way since her students knew from the beginning what they had to do in each moment of the process of learning because she was asking them different questions and she was giving them feedback in order them to improve their collaborative learning.

The idea of implementing peer assessment with pupils of 6-11 years old is a great achievement since younger students are more honest but also more easily influenced. They say the true and accept their own mistakes in order to correct them and learn after the correction. In other words, they see correction as a positive matter not as a negative comment. If they work in this way when they are at the primary school, they will be able to work collaborativelly during their whole life, while they are students as well as in the labour future.

The questions she posed such as , " Did I participate in an active way providing information and ideas for my group ?","Did I listen carefully to what the other members suggested ?"" Did I applaud and encourage their efforts?" and so on, were helpful in getting them to reflect upon their collaborative skills.


When setting up student groups to work on a project, Anna often leaves students free to decide who they would like to work with and each team member’s role. However, when it comes to peer assessment Anna prefers to use a random name picking tool, as she believes this helps ensure objectivity and is more likely to encourage useful and constructive feedback among peers. Do you agree with these different approaches? Anna mentions a variety of digital tools which are helpful in implementing and assessing collaborative work, such as Edmodo, Scrumy, Tackks, Padlets, Google Forms etc. What are your experiences of these tools?

I agree with Anna, it is better to pair classmates who don't know each other well or to use a random name picker tool which automatically teams them up. However, it can be used in younger students. Working together and learning collaboratively ensures the students’ involvement through the activities. Also it is useful to use digital tool to assess their activities. I will use Google Forms while preparing my rubrics. To prepare activities , I will try using Tackk and Padlet. I liked Anna’s idea to ask students to write a comment on other classmates’ activities.


Have you ever used existing rubrics and checklists to assess collaborative work? Have you ever constructed your own rubrics or checklists for this purpose? What about involving students in the design of rubrics, checklists or other assessment tools? What have been your experiences? What do you think of the tips given for constructing rubrics and checklists in the video? Are the guidelines and examples given in the CO-LAB Assessment Guidelines useful?

As i already say , I didn t use rubric to assess collaborative work, but....



Dr. Luis Valente suggests self and peer assessment can help students to move away from seeing teachers as the only source of judgement about the quality of their learning, thereby helping them to become more independent learners. Do you agree, and what are your experiences of this? He also notes that research shows that self-assessment combined with peer assessment reduces the trend for ‘friendship dependency’, ‘benefit of the dominators’ and ‘benefit of parasitism’. Does this match with your experiences? What do you think of assigning a percentage weight to individual assessment as part of the summative assessment related to collaborative work? Any other thoughts on Dr. Valente’s suggestions?

I agree that self and peer assesment can help students to become more independent learners. During the assesment, students behave more serious and they feel more responsible so they reduce the friendship dependency. I agree that student's individual participation can be integrated into the students summative assesment. However, teacher must be asses the activity from the begining to the end of the activity.

Self Assesment: The ability to be a realistic judge of one’s own performance.

  • Provides timely and effective feedback and allows for quick assessment of student learning.
  • Allows instructors to understand and provide quick feedback on learning.
  • Promotes academic integrity through student self-reporting of learning progress.
  • Promotes the skills of reflective practice and self-monitoring.
  • Develops self-directed learning. Increases student motivation.
  • Improves satisfaction from participating in a collaborative learning environment.
  • Helps students develop a range of personal, transferrable skills to meet the expectations of future employers.

Peer assessment: allows instructors to share the evaluation of assignments with their students. It is grounded in theories of active learning

  • Identify assignments or activities for which students might benefit from peer feedback.
  • Consider breaking a larger assignment into smaller pieces and incorporating peer assessment opportunities at each stage. For example, assignment outline, first draft, second draft, etc.
  • Design guidelines or rubrics with clearly defined tasks for the reviewer.
  • Introduce rubrics through learning exercises to ensure students have the ability to apply the rubric effectively.
  • Determine whether peer review activities will be conducted as in-class or out-of-class assignments; for out-of-class assignments, peer assessments can be facilitated online by Blackboard.
  • Help students learn to carry out peer assessment by modeling appropriate, constructive criticism and descriptive feedback through your own comments on student work and well-constructed rubrics.
  • Incorporate small feedback groups where written comments on assignments can be explained and discussed with the receiver.

Discreet assessment: can be used as an approach to assess individual participation and performance within collaborative practice when students are not aware that they are being assessed. However, this can raise ethical issues and even if students do not know when they will be "observed" or assessed, they must know that they could be observed and assessed without advance warning. But we can also use discreet assessment criteria if we include some skills related to "how to ask" and "how to give feedback", the fairness of students when they self and peer assess, the secondary skills they demonstrate when moderating working groups or debates, the proactive attitudes they have integrating peers with difficulties including cognitive, cultural or physical limitations.

The use of Mind Maps, Concept Maps and Infographics: When we use non-standard assessment tools such as concept maps and mind maps or infographics, we are using extremely useful and versatile tools that are capable of valuing different skills from what is usually assessed.


The lesson plan includes learning activities specifically designed to develop students’ collaborative learning skills: For example, at least two of the following criteria are included (see module 2 videos and resources – i.e. the 21CLD rubric and the example learning scenarios for further information and inspiration):

  • Students are required to work in pairs or groups
  • Students have shared responsibility
  • Students make substantive decisions together
  • Students’ work is interdependent
  • It is essential that the nature of the collaborative activities is fully described in the lesson plan, and clearly refers to one or more of the four dimensions mentioned above.

The lesson plan incorporates appropriate assessment tools to assess the collaborative learning activities mentioned, preferably including the student in the design of at least one of the tools: For example, one or more of the following are included as assessment tools (see module 3 videos and resources – i.e. the CO-LAB Guidelines for Assessing Collaborative Learning in the Classroom for further information and inspiration):

  1. Rubric to assess a group
  2. Rubric to assess group members individually
  3. Checklist for self-assessment of students’ collaborative skills
  4. Checklist for peer-assessment of students’ collaborative skills
  5. Digital tools facilitating self and peer assessment of collaborative learning
  6. Mindmaps and infographics to assess group work and facilitate peer assessment

The lesson plan is well aligned with its learning outcomes: activities and assessment clearly link with the defined learning outcomes and allow the teacher to determine by the end of the lesson(s) if the objectives have been achieved.

The lesson plan is balanced: there is a good mix of activities with at least four different Teaching Learning Activities used (TLAs in the Learning Designer) and none of the Activities, except in the case of collaboration, taking up more than 35% of the time (see the pie chart for this).


Guidelines for Assessing Collaborative Learning in the Classroom (Luis Valente, University of Minho) (Polish translation)

Collaboration and Assessment: Theory and Practice (Luis Valente, University of Minho)

Module 4: How can teacher collaboration facilitate collaborative learning?

The learning objectives for this module are:

  • Appreciate the benefits of teacher collaboration and how best to take advantage of them, as well as the challenges, and tips and tools for overcoming them
  • Understand the required skills needed by teachers for effective collaboration, as well as the conditions needed at school level for teacher collaboration to flourish
  • Understand how technology can facilitate teacher collaboration
  • Finalize the development of one or more lesson plans integrating collaborative learning and assessment, as well as elements of teacher collaboration, using the Learning Designer.
  • Peer review the collaborative learning lesson plans of two course participants.

4.2. A primary school teacher's experience of teacher collaboration.

Collaboration between teachers is very important. Teachers can learn new pedagogical techhniques. Working in teams allows more opportunities for students. I think the co-teaching rotation collaboration model is really interesting. Teachers learn to be flexible, to share thoughts and to connect with colleagues.

4.3. A secondary teacher's experience of teacher collaboration

I´ve know some of the platforms and digital tools mentioned by Reyhan. I have a little experiences of using eTwinning. I didnt know about ePals and Also I agree that not all teachers have the required skills to take advantage of digital technologies.

The social networks help a lot to exchange ideas with foreign colleagues. I consider social media, especially facebook and twitter an useful space for teacher collaboration. Digital technologies are a reality in our everyday's life and they can be a source of inspiration and innovation.

4.4. The benefits and challenges of teacher collaboration

Teacher collaboration enables to get feedback from others and to become an effective modeller of collaboration because students see you working with teachers. It is a way of sharing strategies, experience and culture.

4.5. Skills and conditions needed for teacher collaboration

I think collaboration is very important for teachers that have got shared responsibility. They have a shared goal and a role within that. The real obstacle for collaboration is the teachers resistance to change their methods.

4.6. How technology can facilitate teacher collaboration

There are a lot of digital tecnologies that we can use. We can communicate with people all around the world. Technology makes things easier, more interesting and it is quite useful, but without a good, creative teacher it doesn't have a value. Google drive helps to work in a collaborative way for sharing documents with students and other teachers.

4.7. Irish teachers' reflections on teacher collaboration

Finding time to collaborate with colleagues is not impossible. We can also use online enviroments to communicate. I think that working with teachers from different disciplines can be very useful.

This is the link to my Learning Designer

(without the last activity -I cannot manage to save it- Sorry!!!)

And some uf us......

4.8a Module 4 Learning Activity in English

Review made By Sander Vreven date 21-11-2016 18:30


Sorry for the late review but i am suffering from concussion (severe head trauma) , so working with a computer is quite hard now.

I saw your lesson plan for the christmas activity and it looks quite good.

It is good to see you using and introducing new technology with your students.

It is clear that they need to work tigether and make the big content decisions. so it is a high collaborative activity.

You have 2 group assessments . maybe you cab add an individual sefs assessment for each student so they can think for themselves what they have learned + what they learned from each other , using simple questions.

I hope this information is usefull.



Review made By Valbona Shkëmbi date 21-11-2016 23:31


Thank you .Carmen !

Congratulations !


And this was my second MOOC.....
Congratulations to all of us!!!
Created By
Carmen Stanciu


Created with images by PactoVisual - "books library school" • rjacklin1975 - "stuworkhard1" • PactoVisual - "books library school" • PactoVisual - "books library school" • m.sanhuezacelsi - "#Collaboration"

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