Multiple approaches to solving the problem are encouraged. There is no single "right" way to solve most problems, and all reasonable solutions or answers to the problem are honored
Individual students have an opportunity to explain and discuss their suggested solutions aw well as their misconceptions
New understandings are developed by the individual, by the team, and, finally, by the whole class.
Group and class discussions (and solutions) provide immediate feedback to the student.
A team plan of operation and goals is specified, and teams are highly structured. Each student has a clearly defined role in the team such as recorder, questioner, reporter. The teacher takes time to teach each student role.
Team members share leadership within the framework of specific roles.
All team members must contribute or the team cannot progress. (Teams "win or lose together.") The end product represents the entire team.
The team focus is on cooperation as well as on achievement of goals. Awareness of the group process is as important as completing the task.
Student roles are flexible and may change throughout the project or assignment. Students observe (and help with) other students' work, and critique, evaluate, explain, and suggest ways for improvement.
Open communication and multiple approaches are emphasized. All students are involved in honest discussion about ideas, procedures, experimental results, gathered information, interpretations, resource materials, and their own or other students' work.
Students are constantly aware of the collaborative communication process, as well as the product or goals. They know they can change direction to meet goals.