Collaborative learning in technology-enriched science lessons

Workshop organisers:

  • Meeli Rannastu


In order to prepare students for the society of the future, it is necessary to integrate 21st century skills (collaboration and communication, problem-solving, critical thinking and reflection) into the curriculum. Collaborative learning focuses on students' efforts to explain ideas to each other and aim to find common ground and strategies to solve a common problem. Roschelle and Teasley (1995) define collaborative learning as coordinated, synchronous activities that arise from the need to find consensus in the construction and resolution of a problem. By learning collaboratively, students solve the task together, but at the same time each learner achieves the outcome individually. In collaborative learning, each group member needs to contribute to a common task. Students are actively involved in the collaborative learning process, where co-learners are inspirational as learning requires the presentation, validation and defense of their ideas as well as the consideration of different opinions. Therefore, collaborative learning is geared towards learner-centered learning, where lessons are based on student discussions and active work. Teachers are mentors in the learning process, rather than transferring knowledge. Previous research on collaborative exploratory learning in computer-based learning environments has used common computer simulations where collaborative group members see the same content and outputs. Asymmetric tasks provide different perspectives, guidance, and / or resources to group members and thereby increase the need for collaboration. Go-Lab offers numerous opportunities to develop student collaboration skills. Collaboration can be supported through a variety of applications and by structuring the learning process and easily creating asymmetric tasks.

Expected target group:

K12 natural science teachers

Expected number of participants:


Learning outcomes:

  • Reflects and understands the possibilities of collaborative teaching;
  • Conceives different ways to support the development of students' collaborative skills;
  • Understands how asymmetric simulations can be used in teaching.