Collaborative problem solving is about people working together face-to-face or in online workspaces with a focus on solving real world problems. These groups are made up of members that share a common concern, a similar passion, and/or a commitment to their work. Members are willing to ask questions, wonder, and try to understand common issues. They share expertise, experiences, tools, and methods.
These groups can be assigned by instructors, or may be student regulated based on the individual student needs. The groups, or group members, may be fluid based on need, or may only occur temporarily to finish an assigned task. They may also be more permanent in nature depending on the needs of the learners. All members of the group must have some input into the decision making process and have a role in the learning process. Group members are responsible for the thinking, teaching, and monitoring of all members in the group. Group work must be coordinated among its members so that each member makes an equal contribution to the whole work. Group members must identify and build on their individual strengths so that everyone can make a significant contribution to the task.
Collaborative groups require joint intellectual efforts between the members and involve social interactions to solve problems together. The knowledge shared during these interactions is acquired during communication, negotiation, and production of materials. Members actively seek information from others by asking questions. The capacity to use questions to acquire new information increases understanding and the ability to solve problems. Collaborative group work has the ability to promote critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, social skills, and self-esteem. By using collaboration and communication, members often learn from one another and construct meaningful knowledge that often leads to better learning outcomes than individual work.
- "The Collaborative Problem Solving® (CPS) Approach". Think:Kids – Collaborative Problem Solving®. Retrieved 2018-08-10.
Collaborative Problem Solving approach is applicable to diverse human interactions, but especially those that can result in conflict. Our CPS model can be applied to interactions between classmates, siblings, couples, parents and teachers, and employees and supervisors.The Collaborative Problem Solving approach was originated by Dr. Ross Greene . He now refers to his model as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions, is no longer associated in any way with organizations or individuals marketing the product now called Collaborative Problem Solving, and does not endorse what they have done with his work .
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