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Increasing Accountability in Cooperative Online Learning

Siri Anderson, Ed.D., Barbara Bridges, Ph.D.


See conference proceedings here:

17th- Annual  Sloan C International Conference on Online Learning


Abstract: This presentation will demonstrate two tools used in collaborative online learning to improve individual and group accountability. One is a free and accessible Google form-based model. The other is, CLIA, a software developed for our program that affords a uniquely-streamlined instructor and student interface. Six-months free access to faculty-developed CLIA given to session participants.   

Critical Attributes of Online Cooperative Learning


Our approach to cooperative learning blends the following:

  • Students working together to facilitate their individual and collective success on a given learning objective
  • Includes an element of individual accountability
  • Includes an element of group cohesion and group accountability
  • Requires participation in planning, creating, analyzing, reflecting, and implementing changes that result from the interaction
  • The end result of cooperative learning must be improved outcomes compared with anything any individual in the group could have created on his/her own
  • Assessment criteria clearly identified prior to beginning the project
  • Tasks assigned must afford choice, creativity, and authenticity
  • Opportunities for compassion and personal growth should be integrated within the design of the project


Signs of Successful Design


  • Increases student time on task an engagement in learning
  • Evidence of individual contributions is available in the history of the tool
  • Multiplies feedback opportunities for students
  • Teaches useful technology skills that translate to many other "21st Century" tools and resources
  • Increases the networking and public "presence" of students
  • Fosters a sense of community within a class (which can increase likelihood of retention)
  • Facilitates student growth or rehearsal of "soft skills" that are more likely to get them (and keep them) hired
  • Reduces faculty time needed to assess learning outcomes and give productive feedback


Challenges to Address


  • Asynchronous interaction
  • Differing technology resources and skills--hardware, software, know-how, courage/willingness to learn, online organizational skills
  • Frequency of "life" obstacles increases for adult learners
  • Ego, Self-Interest (Slackers) or lack of "soft skills"
  • Prior experiences with cooperative learning may predispose faculty or students to approach with skepticism 




  • Abundant education-friendly free tools for creating and sharing beautiful, public, and useful content
  • Infinite growth in resources for skill-building and communication
  • Student choice will increase your repertoire



How To's



Google Form Introduction


--Create free self- and peer-assessments using Google Form.



CLIA Introduction Bridges


--Learn how to use CLIA to have students complete anonymous peer assessments.



Online Cooperative Learning Ideas


--Explore ideas for cooperative learning in your content area.



Example Online Tools 


--Learn about many tools that can be used to create online cooperative learning projects.




Return to:


Assess Bridges

Google Form Introduction

Online Cooperative Learning Ideas

Example Online Tools



Creative Commons License
Online Cooperative Learning Techniques by Siri Anderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at onlinecooperativelearningtechniques.pbworks.com.


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