A Participatory Action Research Study of Collaborative Course Development Across Higher Education Programs


  • Margaret Weiss Graduate School of Education
  • Anthony Pellegrino Graduate School of Education




pedagogy, reflective teaching practice, Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)


Collaboration is a much-used term that connotes images of teams working together to facilitate better outcomes. Being able to work with others in professional environments has become an expected part of most careers. While many courses in higher education require students to collaborate in various capacities in order to learn about working together and value differing perspectives, few faculty members teach together to model effective collaborative partnerships.

This presentation will highlight findings from a participatory action research study of two Mason faculty members from different programs who developed and co-taught an integrated course about school-based collaboration for prospective and practicing educators. We will describe results from interviews, observations, and analysis of course materials related to:

  • Developing a collaborative philosophical framework and purpose for the course
  • Negotiating collaborative assignments and assessments
  • Integrating our expertise to coteach class sessions
  • Identifying and resolving philosophical and infrastructure challenges
  • Interpreting student feedback and outcomes.

Discussion will include:

  • The need for university dialogue about academic collaboration
  • The impact faculty interactions have on collaborative efforts
  • The importance of curricular vision and coherence in collaborative efforts
  • Future research directions.