As K-12 educators work toward targeted, small group instruction together with college and career readiness skills, many implement collaborative learning experiences within their classrooms. Collaborative learning can help students develop deeper understandings of content while building critical life-long skills, and using a design for learning approach provides teachers with a useful framework for planning, implementing, and reflecting on student learning. Together, these approaches support one another by helping teachers engage in three practical implementation tasks: designing collaborative learning environments, overcoming barriers to collaborative practices, and designing successful learning tasks. We recommend that teachers use design for learning techniques to purposefully create collaborative learning environments and tasks that engage students while scaffolding students’ learning.

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