Collaboration to Support Student Learning in a Digital Learning Environment

Educators must demonstrate a basic understanding of what collaboration is in the 4Cs framework and use it with digital resources to support learning in their classrooms.
Made by Friday Institute @ NC State

About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Educator provides evidence of their understanding of collaboration and outlines and provides evidence of a lesson that uses technology to support students’ collaboration in learning.

Method Components

What are the 4Cs?

The 4Cs for 21st century learning are Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication, and Collaboration. They are part of the framework for 21st Century Learning and are designed to support student learning in today’s world and are skills they can use in college and career.

What is collaboration (and what isn’t it)?

Collaboration is the ability to work effectively with others. It can be both a process to support learning and an outcome. Collaboration has been shown to strongly enhance critical thinking skills. While technology is now nearly ubiquitous for young learners, it’s important to use technology thoughtfully for collaboration and acknowledge that technology for technology’s sake in collaboration does not work.

Example strategies that use technology to support collaboration in the classroom:

  • Collaborative Writing: Use Google Docs, Story Bird, or Titan Pad to engage students in collaborative writing in real time.
  • Have your students complete Collaborative Assessments

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Bush, L., & Hall, J. (2011, March). Transforming teaching with technology: Using Web 2.0 tools to enhance on-line communication, collaboration, and creativity. In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2011 (pp. 3887-3890). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

  • Dillenbourg, P., Baker, M. J., Blaye, A., & O’Malley, C. (1995). The evolution of research on collaborative learning. In E. Spada & P. Reiman (Eds.), Learning in humans and machine: Towards an interdisciplinary learning science (pp. 189-211). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

  • Gokhale, A. A. (1995). Collaborative learning enhances critical thinking. Journal of Technology Education, 7(1), 22-30.


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn this micro-credential you must receive a "passing" for Parts 1 and 3 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(250-word limit)

How do you define collaboration in a digital classroom?

(250-word limit)

Describe your lesson - how did you use collaboration skills and technology together to support students’ learning?

Part 2. Work Examples / Artifacts

Please provide an artifact that demonstrates your use of collaboration skills and technology to support student learning.

Part 3. Educator Reflection

(500-word limit)

How did technology change students’ ability to collaborate? Were you able to create a more meaningful experience for students by utilizing technology? Explain your thinking.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


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How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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