September 12, 2016


Collaboration is a skill that most educators consider vital, but the strategies for building this skill are still unclear. There is currently very little scientific research on how to measure and improve collaboration skills (c.f., Pellegrino and Hilton, 2012; Plucker, Kennedy, & Dilley, 2015). The lack of a substantial body of scientific research and interventions that promote collaboration is surprising, given the increased emphasis on 21st Century Skills and Project Based Learning.

To advance the understanding of current practices, Project Playground™ and The Partnership for 21st Century Learning (P21) have joined forces to conduct the first systematic national study of collaboration instruction and assessment. The final report will be posted on the P21 website with the list of partners, but not their responses.


The goal of this research project is to understand how schools approach the instruction and assessment of collaboration skills. More specifically, the goals are:

  • To assess district and teacher priorities for teaching collaboration

  • To understand how student collaboration is encouraged, taught, and assessed in schools

  • To understand how prepared educators are to teach and assess collaboration skills

  • To investigate the supports and tools that teachers need

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