Today’s college students are more accustomed than ever to taking classes remotely and forming their social groups online. Does this mean they’re ready to cut the cord from collaborating with their classmates too?

While some interpret the rise of texting to be “the downfall of human language,” in reality, teens and young adults are communicating more than ever before — almost non-stop.

The same goes for classroom work, and may be a reflection of the way students hope to access information–instantly. Students have some of the busiest, most chaotic schedules out there, yet collaborating with their classmates doesn’t seem to be something they want to cut.

Instructors on peer-to-peer learning

We recently surveyed a group of hundreds of  college instructors on student collaboration. We asked if their students work well together in and outside of class and if they look to each other for support.

college instructors on peer to peer learning

The biggest landslide came from 88% of instructors saying, “Yes – My students work well during classtime together.” And 66% of instructors also said their students collaborate outside of class, and 66% said their students look to each other for study help.

These instructors hail from colleges and universities of all kinds, teaching both online and in-person classes. That’s a lot of collaboration.

College students on collaboration

To see if students were on the same page, we ran the same question by thousands of college students. college students on peer to peer learning

Instructor and student answers were nearly neck-in-neck: 87% of college students feel they work well with  their classmates during classtime, 65% look to their classmates for study help, and 63% collaborate with classmates outside of class.

We also asked students how often they get the opportunity to work with a partner or group. Most (69%) said “Occasionally,” 17% said “Frequently,” and 14% said “Never.”

This may serve as a good reminder that students are likely to respond well to partner and group work, and it may even improve their engagement and focus on the material.

What ways do you encourage peer-to-peer collaboration in your classroom? Share your ideas below.