How do you teach collaboration? (+5 models)

In this blogpost, we will be looking at different ways to teach collaboration to students. We will also be looking at collaborative teaching and its many benefits. In addition, we shall be explaining the various models of collaborative teaching that instructors can use in classrooms. Collaboration is required in classrooms as it improves the learning process altogether. But first, collaborative skills have to be taught to students for effective and constructive teamwork.

How do you teach collaboration?

Instructors can teach collaboration skills using the following methods:

  • Giving sufficient time for individual work
  • Making students work in pairs
  • Collaborating in small groups
  • Creating an appropriate environment

Collaborative learning has many benefits for the classroom. For collaborative learning to be effective, the students first need to be equipped with the right collaboration skills. The methods by which collaboration skills can be taught are explained below:

Giving sufficient time for individual work

Before students work in groups, it is necessary to give them time for individual work. This helps them learn the concept by themselves, using their own resources. This also helps the students sort their thoughts and ideas before bringing them to a group. After a student learns individually, they can collaborate with others in a better manner.

Making students work in pairs

Once a student has learnt a concept on their own, they can now be encouraged to collaborate with a partner. Through this, the student can use the collaborative techniques they are already aware of in a real-life situation.

Pairing them with another student also helps them learn more collaborative skills in a safe space. Instructors can then encourage the students to pair up with someone else. This is to ensure they use the skills which they have learned from the previous partner.

Collaborating in small groups

Groups can be intimidating for many students. Thus, it is better to start the students off with smaller groups for collaboration. A small group can consist of 4-5 students who work together to learn a concept. Collaborating in small groups allows the students to enhance their learning. They can also receive feedback and improve their collaborative skills.

Creating an appropriate environment

While teaching collaboration, the instructor has to create an environment that supports and encourages it. For this to happen, the students should be taught to respect and trust each other. It also is important to bring more positivity and support into the classroom. Collaboration should be emphasized even in small tasks and assignments so that the entire group works as one unit.

What is collaborative teaching?

Collaborative teaching goes by other names such as cooperative teaching and team teaching. This process of education allows groups of instructors to teach a concept to a particular group of students. This type of instruction allows better learning among students. And thus, it is becoming increasingly popular in classrooms today.

Benefits of collaborative teaching

Collaborative teaching is very beneficial for students and teachers alike. A few of these benefits are discussed briefly:

Instructors can understand what method works better

Through collaborative teaching, teachers can figure out what methods of instruction work and what does not. Since several instructors mentor a group, they can use different strategies to teach the classroom.

The interest levels and responsiveness of students can be evaluated. Through this gauging, strategies that elicit higher responsiveness can be used often. This leads to a more scientific and efficient teaching method.

Teachers can learn from each other

Teachers can also learn about concepts from each other. Since each instructor handles a different concept or a different part of the concept, they make an effort to learn closely about it. Collaborative teaching allows these instructors to learn from each other and then impart it to the classroom. It also paves way for research studies and other academic development programs.

The classroom atmosphere becomes interesting

With collaborative teaching, the learning process itself becomes interesting for the students. Since instructors implement different strategies and methods to teach concepts, the students don’t lose attention easily as compared to traditional teaching.

 Collaborative teaching also ensures that different learning styles are used in the process, combining visual, auditory and kinesthetic elements. It also brings in written and spoken elements of learning, ensuring the concept is learnt from all angles.

It reduces student-teacher conflicts

Student-teacher conflicts do arise, no matter how diplomatic the teacher may be. Some students dislike certain instructors for a particular reason only known to them. This can hinder the learning process for these students. Having collaborative teaching in the classroom reduces these conflicts, ensuring a better classroom environment.

Teachers don’t feel overworked

Collaborative teaching also lessens the workload for teachers. Since many instructors combine their efforts to teach, they can support each other in work. Collaborative teaching has the additional benefit of making the work interesting for the teacher. This motivates the instructor to put in maximum effort, also enhancing the learning process for students.

Models of collaborative teaching

Instructors can use various models of collaborative teaching in the classroom. These models are explained below:

Teach and reteach model

In this model of collaborative teaching, one instructor teaches a particular concept to the students. Once the students have understood the concept well, another instructor goes over the same concept and reviews it with the students. This model allows better retention and better understanding among the students.

Simultaneous teaching model

In this model, each classroom has two instructors conducting the class at the same time. The class itself is split into two small groups. Both the instructors will present their materials to the class at the same time. This allows better attention levels from the students and also creates an interesting learning atmosphere.

Lead, observe and assist model

This model of collaborative teaching also uses two instructors. In this model, one instructor teaches the class, using the main material for instruction. The other instructor or co-teacher assists the students and clarifies their doubts. This allows students to closely interact with the instructors. It also ensures the teachers have lesser workloads and play their roles effortlessly.

Instructional stations model

A classroom which uses the instructional stations model will be assembled a little differently. Here, the students go to stations where the teachers are placed and learn. This allows a more practical and active approach to learning. It also improves monitoring of learning while also improving knowledge retention by the students.

Co-teaching rotation model

In this model of collaborative teaching, the teacher and co-teacher often switch roles in the classroom. One may present new material to the students while the other may support the students in learning. They can switch their roles several times in a class in order to allow effective learning.


In this blogpost, we have looked at different ways to teach collaboration to students. We have also explained what collaborative teaching is and its many benefits for students. In addition, we have also explained the various models of collaborative teaching that instructors can use in classrooms.

Frequently asked questions: (How do you teach collaboration?)

Can collaboration be taught?

Yes, collaboration can be taught to various individuals. Collaborative skills are not only necessary among employees in business organizations. It is also important for students in a classroom setting and basically any individual who is a member of a team. Collaborative skills are also required by persons in management and leadership roles, in order to effectively lead teams.

Collaboration is important especially for students as it provides several great benefits:

Students are encouraged to think deeply

Through collaborative learning, students are encouraged to think more deeply about a particular subject or concept. It also allows them to explore and learn from various sources outside the classroom. Research studies have shown that collaborative learning strategies can help students retain information and apply concepts better.

Creative thought processes are enforced

Collaboration allows students to think outside the box and bring new ideas and suggestions to life. Since there are many individuals with various skill sets and opinions working together, students are exposed to new perspectives and solutions for the issue being discussed.

It improves communication and interpersonal skills

Collaboration also helps students improve their communication skills and other interpersonal skills. In this manner, they are better equipped to be team players for the future workplace. These skills can also help them in their personal lives, allowing them to individually grow.

Students learn not to only communicate better but also become active listeners. This further improves the collaboration and team cohesion within the group. Collaboration can also improve the communication between the students and the teacher, teaching them the right way to interact with authority figures.

It teaches teamwork

This method of learning can teach students the importance of teamwork. Since collaboration requires the active participation of students, they learn to work closely with others. Effective collaboration has a clear goal for the team members and with individual responsibilities.

 In order to reach the goal, students need to be accountable and transparent. They also need to be honest and open with the other team members. This makes them efficient team players who work hard to accomplish the shared goal.

Students develop emotional intelligence

Collaborating closely with other team members also helps develop empathy and understanding. When students work in a diverse environment, they learn about different cultures and respect various backgrounds. Ultimately, they become more emotionally intelligent, helping them become better individuals who can contribute better to society.

How can you promote teacher collaboration?

Collaboration between teachers can be improved by using the following strategies:

  • Setting clear goals for the group
  • Promoting a team identity
  • Creating and following a set of values or principles
  • Encouraging healthy and productive discussions
  • Resolving conflicts immediately

What is needed for a successful collaboration among professionals?

For successful collaboration among professionals, the individuals need to have individual ownership of the team goals. When there is ownership and responsibility, the motivation to achieve the goal increases.

Thereby, this increases the effort the team members put in. This ownership does refer to personal goals and individual responsibilities. It mainly refers to the shared goals of the group. It also requires communication, accountability and transparency in the group.

What are the two co-teaching styles?

The two common co-teaching styles are team teaching and parallel teaching. In addition, co-teaching can also include other teaching styles such as alternative teaching and station teaching. One teach, one assist and one teach, one observe models are also being widely used in today’s classrooms.

These teaching styles can be used according to the goals of teaching, the type of students involved, the strength of the classroom and the existing workload of the instructors. By using these different methods, the participation of students in the classroom can be increased while also enhancing teamwork and knowledge retention.

If you like this article, please post your comments and questions below.


Was this post helpful?

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]