Topic 5: Supporting student interaction and collaboration in online learning

Create opportunities for students to interact and collaborate

  • Build a sense of community in an online course
  • Use discissuions forums and threaded conversations.
  • use group projects and assignments.
  • use wikis and other collaborative tools
  • Use synchronous communication tools.

Provide clear instructions and expectations

  • Provide clear instructions for all activities and assignments
  • Establish clear expectations for student behavior in online discussions and other collaborative activities.
  • Provide rubrics or grading criteria for all assignments.

Monitor student interaction and collaboration

  • Review discussion forums and threaded conversations regularly.
  • Monitor group projects and assignments to make sure that students are working together effectively.
  • Use analytics tools to track student participation in online activities.

Use technology to support student interaction and collaboration

  • Use LMS that supports discussion forums, wikis, and other collaborative tools.
  • Use video conferencing and chat tools to facilitate synchronous communication among students.
  • Use social media platforms to create and share course content and to connect with students outside of class.

Papalexandri-Alexandri, M. (2021, March, 24). Encouraging Creativity through Collaborative Learning. [YouTube Video].Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation.

Mahiques, E.I. (2021, July 14). Using peer review for student interaction. [YouTube Video]. Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation.

Use Artificial Intelligence to facilitate student collaboration

Mollick, E. & Mollick, L. (2023, September 25). Student use cases for AI. Part 3: AI as Team Coach Elevating the Success of Group Work [blog]. Harvard Business Publishing.


Learn more:

Center for Teaching Innovation. (e.d.). Collaborative Learning. Cornell University.

Learn more:

Mucharraz u Cano, Y & Venuti, F. (2020, March 25). Online Learning Can Still be Social [blog]. Harvard Business Publishing Education.