Module 3 Facilitating collaboration through technology


Collaboration among human beings is a staple in human interaction  It is as necessary as the air we breathe. Across disciplines and in everyday life, humans function better as they interact with others and, longevity in life is often attributed to healthy lifestyles which include, healthy diets, exercise, and healthy human relationships. Neuroscientist John Cacioppo (2008) favored connections to other people as a marker for a long and healthy life. Cacioppo (2008) explained that “as individuals, and as a society, we have everything to gain, and everything to lose, in how well or how poorly we manage our need for human connection. Echoing this sentiment (Rheingold, 2008) contended that this desire for human connection is the natural outcome of the need for people to work together and collaborate in groups. In education, this notion of collaboration runs parallel to constructivist theory, where our ideas are best defined as we reflect and collaborate with others. We fine-our ideas through questioning, validating extending, or amplifying. Each of these practices is innate, and the interaction groups provide is the natural catalyst for learning.

Technology plays an integral part in facilitating collaboration. Using constructivist theories, it can propel discussions in educational settings utilizing Skpe, Google Hangouts, etc to provide an environment enriched with meaningful experiences, social interaction, and active participation, which (Driscoll, 2005) argued are primary factors that influence learning. In addition, technology can facilitate collaboration among learners based on constructivist principles through blogs and wikis, both of which allow students to interact, engage, and explore their environment to make meaning and discover knowledge. (Bruner, 1996) asserted that internal factors as well as external factors influence learning outcomes, adding that when students are interested in material, it entices the students to learn. Integrating technology by allowing learners to collaborate through wikis, blogs, think-pairs, group writing, and other forms of generating ideas collectively, not only promotes interest but also boosts student confidence. Facilitating collaboration using technology also enforces the social interaction of each learner trying to develop meaning individually, which then according to (Gibbs, 2014) requires the learning to understand issues as a whole and in parts.

That’s my take, Linette Rasheed

Below is a link to research conducted by the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence on how collaboration fosters effective classroom discussion.

Check out this blog on the effectiveness of collaboration for online learning

This Youtube video illustrates  the practical application of building an environment for collaborative teaching and learning in the classroom.


Bruner, J. (1996). The culture of education. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Cacioppo, J. T. & Patrick, W.  (2008).Loneliness: Human nature and the need for social connection. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company.

Driscoll, M. P (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed). Boston: Pearson

Edutopia. (2013, August 6). Remake your class Part 3: Exploring a cooperative. Retrieved from

Gibbs, S. (2014). Constructivism. Retrieved from (2013). Constructivist theory (Jerome Bruner). Retrieved from

Morrison, D. (2012, October 9) 5 tools and strategies that support group collaboration online [Web log post] Retrieved from group-collaboration-online

Rheingold, H. (2008). Howard Rheingold: Way-New Collaboration. [Video file] Retrieved from

University of Waterloo. Centre for Teaching Excellence. Collaborative online learning: Fostering effective discussions. Retrieved April 8, 2014, from


2 thoughts on “Module 3 Facilitating collaboration through technology

  1. Hi Linette,
    I enjoyed reading your post and agree with you that humans need social interaction. I believe that we were not created to be isolated and alone. However, I disagree with you that we have natural instincts to work together and collaborate in groups. My past experience with group work reveals there has to be a motivator to make people want to work in a group. Rheingold (2008) used hunting mastodon in the beginning of his video to prove his point of people having natural instincts to work in a group, but I can clearly see the motivation to drive the group work, the need to eat and survive. Do you believe that if other food sources were easier to access, the cave dwellers would have hunted mastodons? I do not think they would have, because the easier way is just that easy. I have observed over my 50 years of life, if something requires extra energy, than humans in general are going to look for and find the easiest way to accomplish it.
    As I (2014) commented on Shelly’s blog, “The mastodon was a source of food and clothing and probably too big and dangerous for one person alone to hunt, so the logical thing to do was to hunt in a group and share the hunt”. Another example is a group of students working in groups because the assignment requires participation as part of the grade, here the motivation is being graded. People work in groups because they are afforded self-gratification or it provides the social interaction that they would not otherwise get if working alone, the motivation for these are social interaction and self-gratification. Another example would be our group for this class, if we were not required to work in a group for this module’s assignments, do you think we would have collaborate if effort to accomplish these assignments? To be honest with you, I would not have done it because my schedule does not really accommodate others at this point in my life, but because group participation is required and is being graded, I had to rearrange my schedule to accommodate this so I can pass this class. The motivation for me is making a good grade so I can pass this class, in order to graduate from the PhD program.
    King, S. (2014). MD3Assgn_2_King_S: Comment to Shelly Gooden. Unpublished manuscript, Walden University.
    Rheingold, H. (2008, February). Howard Rheingold on collaboration [Video file]. Retrieved from

  2. Hi Linette,
    Connecting with others may be natural for some but I am unsure it comes as easily as breathing for others. I wish it did. There have been times that I observe people thinking they are interacting with others but they fail to connect. They are simply speaking “at” someone rather than creating a connection. For me, connections run two ways. There is a flow. Thank you for sharing your observations and insights. I find hope in the research you uncovered linking the ability to connect with a better quality of life. Perhaps there is a way to help people “learn to breathe” after all.
    Warm Regards,

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