Collaborative learning in the Scottish curriculum for excellence: the challenges of assessment and potential of multi-touch technology

Sandra McKechan, Jennifer Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Scottish educational policy advocates the benefits of collaborative learning as a way of developing critical life skills, across the primary curriculum. In this paper, the rationale for collaborative learning, and specifically the Critical Skills (CS) approach, is considered along with an account of the perspectives of primary teachers implementing the methodology in their classroom. Based on the results of semi-structured interviews and an electronic survey, this article considers teachers’ opinion on the effectiveness of the CS approach, and highlights challenges relating to attaining, effectively retaining and analysing the evidence of impact gained via collaborative learning. It concludes that the latest technologies, including multi-touch technology, present scope to ease the challenge of assessing the collaborative process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-487
Number of pages13
JournalEducation 3-13
Issue number5
Early online date13 Sep 2012
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2014



  • collaborative learning
  • co-operative learning
  • critical skills
  • assessment
  • multi-touch technology

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