Collaborative learning is based on the view that knowledge is a social construct. Collaborative activities are most often based on four principles:
- The learner or student is the primary focus of instruction.
- Interaction and "doing" are of primary importance.
- Working in groups is an important mode of learning.
- Structured approaches to developing solutions to real-world problems should be incorporated into learning.
The benefits of collaborative learning include:
- Development of higher-level thinking, oral communication, self-management, and leadership skills.
- Promotion of student-faculty interaction.
- Increase in student retention, self-esteem, and responsibility.
- Exposure to and an increase in understanding of diverse perspectives.