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Introduction to Collaborative Discussion

Module One

Collaborative Discussion is the ability to work with others in productive and creative ways to address both large and small problems and to harness the potential of collective wisdom. It is essential in building relationships, encouraging sustained engagement, and improving possibilities. This introductory module builds the foundation for learning and practicing skills and engagement techniques that can improve the creativity and productivity of people working together in social life, the workplace, and in public life.

At the conclusion of this module, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the types of skills and habits of mind that support collaborative discussion.

  2. Prepare themselves through reflection to participate in collaborative discussion.

  3. Develop appreciation for multiple perspectives and the role of values in collaborative discussion.  

What is Collaborative Learning?

This activity provides the opportunity for participants to reflect upon their own collaborative successes. We may contend that “the many are smarter than the few,” but under what circumstances? Participants will examine their own experiences to help determine which factors are necessary to achieve effective collaboration.

Developing Collaborative Perspective

Anticipating Conflict and Forming Group Guidelines

Understanding Your Identity in Collaboration

The Role of Values in Collaborative Discussion

Understanding Values in Context

Taking Inventory of Collaboration Skills

Evaluating Your Discussion Style


This module starts with reflection, encouraging participants to think about what collaboration is and what makes it work well. Participants will then learn about and engage in activities that introduce some foundational skills and habits of a collaborative mindset, such as recognizing limitations of single perspectives and the role that values play in how people contribute to discussions. Finally, participants will critically reflect upon their own styles, habits, and needs within discussion spaces and learn how to support the needs of others within a collaborative atmosphere.

Module 1: Introduction to Collaborative Discussion: Text
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