Sustaining collaborative learning in a rurally located university classroom in South Africa: Conducive conditions and possible threats




Collaborative learning, rural university classrooms, pre-service teachers, asset-based community development, conducive conditions.


This study investigated how collaborative learning, as a teaching and learning approach, can be enhanced to promote pre-service teachers' participation in university classrooms in rural areas of South Africa. The study aimed to identify the conducive conditions that support collaborative learning, as well as the threats that may hinder the implementation of collaborative learning in rural classrooms. Asset-based community development served as the theoretical framework for this study. A transformative paradigm was adopted, employing a participatory research design to bring together individuals with relevant experiences and opinions. The study involved fifteen participants, including five lecturers with more than five years of experience, five third-year students, and five fourth-year students from a selected university. Data was collected through focused group discussions and interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings of the study revealed that connecting activities to assessment, proper planning, linking content to students' lives, and establishing a positive classroom culture were conducive conditions for collaborative learning. On the other hand, language barriers, unconducive classroom infrastructure, and lack of infrastructure were identified as factors that could hinder the implementation of collaborative learning in this study. The study recommends the creation of favourable conditions, such as aligning activities with assessments and effective planning, to promote collaborative learning among pre-service teachers in rural university classrooms in South Africa.


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How to Cite

Adebola, O. O. (2024). Sustaining collaborative learning in a rurally located university classroom in South Africa: Conducive conditions and possible threats. Interdisciplinary Journal of Education Research, 6, 1-13.