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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 to help determine which factors are necessary to achieve effective collaboration.

Developing Collaborative Perspective

This activity opens up the conversation and makes visible the need to gain a broader perspective of issues in order to effectively explore and address them.

Anticipating Conflict and Forming Group Guidelines

This activity enables the group of discussants to anticipate potential conflict in the group discussions and create guidelines that will address these concerns and bring out the best characteristics of the group.

Understanding Your Identity in Collaboration

This activity encourages participants to think about what type of person or identity they bring to a discussion and what type of identity they would ideally like to personify in a discussion group.

The Role of Values in Collaborative Discussion

This activity encourages participants to reflect upon and identify their personal values and to acknowledge the role that values play in group dynamics.

Understanding Values in Context

This activity will highlight that challenges in groups are often not conflicts between values, but differences in which values are important in a particular context.

Taking Inventory of Collaboration Skills

This activity will provoke participants to reflect upon and identify their needs, strengths and weaknesses, in a discussion space, and work together to support the needs of fellow discussants.

Evaluating Your Discussion Style




Coming Soon


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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