16 Pages

Introduction What is Collaborative Learning?: An Overview

ByAngela M. O’Donnell and Cindy E. Hmelo-Silver (Rutgers University)

Collaborative learning has become an increasingly important part of education, but the research on collaborative learning is distributed across a variety of literatures including social, cognitive, developmental, educational psychology, instructional design, the learning sciences, educational technology, sociocultural research, social psychology, sociology, and computer-supported collaborative learning. Although these elds overlap, researchers and practitioners do not necessarily read outside their own disciplines. As the study of collaborative learning continues to expand, there is a need for an interdisciplinary research agenda with sharing of theoretical and methodological perspectives. e goal of this volume is to integrate theory and research ndings across these communities of scholars to forward our understanding of collaborative learning.