Collaborative Discussion Toolkit

Module One: Introduction to Collaborative Discussion

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.

Module Two: Creative Collaboration

Creative Collaboration is the ability for a group to work together in ways that encourage seeing new possibilities. Our thinking can often be limited by unconscious constraints and conditioned patterns of thinking. Having habits and tools to unleash creativity can help groups create imaginative potential and harness productive energy in groups.

Module Three: Critical Collaboration

Critical Collaboration requires that participants take time to reflect on how their habits of thinking, emotionally responding, and general communication have been conditioned and may even impede working with others effectively. Over time we have learned how to think and communicate about certain issues which may act as blinders and prevent us from seeing issues more fully. The activities in this module can help groups pause and critically question their way of engaging certain topics in order to improve collaboration.

Module Four: Culturally Responsive Collaboration

Culturally Responsive collaboration is about a commitment to learning from and relating respectfully to others who are both similar and different from oneself. This commitment to working across a variety of differences that participants may bring to a collaborative discussion can help groups make these differences resources for the group.

Module Five: Civic Collaboration

Civic Collaboration is when people join together to address public issues that impact their communities. Frequently, we expect people to engage in projects about community issues, but we do not always prepare them with the skills and habits needed to address the complexity and nuance of such work. This module will help participants understand how they can work with communities to create collaborative and sustainable change by weaving the social fabric and connections that exist in communities.

Module Six: Projects, Journals, & Collaboration Challenges

Application is yet another way we continue the learning cycle. This module includes how-to descriptions for final projects, insight or practice journals, and collaboration challenges. Many of these activities can be used as assessment tools for classroom experiences.