K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Learn more about collaborative learning

Alternative discussion formats
Class discussions often take one of two forms — either question-and-answer sessions, in which the teacher throws out questions and students answer them, or debates. Both of these formats are useful, but adding a few more ideas to your teaching repertoire can make for more variety in the classroom and provide more opportunities for engaging discussions. This edition explains how to manage dicussions in the form of a public relations campaign, a trial, a talk show, or the design of monuments, memorials, and museum exhibits.
Format: series (multiple pages)
Educator's Guides: North Carolina Digital History
Best practices, process guides, worksheets, and other resources for teaching with LEARN NC's digital textbook of North Carolina history.
Format: (multiple pages)
Round robin
In the round robin structure*, each student takes turns sharing something new with members of the collaborative group. Round robin offers students the opportunity to express ideas and opinions while learning more about their...
Format: article
By Heather Coffey.
Teaching mathematics through literature
This lesson is a collaborative pair learning activity which uses the book Jumanji to teach Probability.
Format: lesson plan (grade 5–6 English Language Arts and Mathematics)
By Brenda Davis.
Developing and teaching an online course
Basic information for teachers considering developing and teaching an online course.
Format: article/help

Find all 147 resources in our collection.

An umbrella term for the variety of approaches and models in education that involve the shared intellectual efforts by students working in small groups to accomplish a goal or complete a task.

See also cooperative learning.

Additional information

Students are afforded opportunities to think for themselves and compare their thoughts with those of other students. Students work together to search for and develop understandings, meanings, and solutions or to conduct research projects.

This approach is closely related to cooperative learning. One central difference between these two types of learning is that in collaborative learning the outcome is not dependent on each individual contributing to the whole.

Examples and resources

For more information about the differences between collaborative and cooperative learning, visit the Thirteen Ed Online website Concept to Classroom.