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two teachers collaborating

Are we really better together?  This question provides insight into the focus of Collaborative Culture. In this module, we will examine research by Richard DuFour, a leading educational expert on Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and Dr. Marzano. We will examine the big ideas associated with a culture of collaboration that will support the formation of, implementation, and sustainability of valid and helpful PLCs.

It is important to remember that PLCs need not be an overwhelming program in your school, but instead should be simple methods that are meant to support teachers as they develop lessons, assessments, activities, and interventions (both remedial and enrichment).  Collaborative cultures can be, when implemented with fidelity, high-quality professional development. PLCs are for teachers, by teachers.

Prerequisites: None

Contact Hours: 5

Course Competency:

  • Understand the big ideas associated with collaborative cultures.
  • Evaluate research and resources associated with collaborative cultures
  • Develop a plan to participate in a collaborative culture (in person or online)
  • Review and practice using established protocols to support collaborative culture.
  • Reflect on their practice and how collaboration can support teaching and learning
Course Syllabus


Work through the resources provided below.  Already know the content? No problem! Skip to #5 and submit your evidence of learning from the provided Choice Board. Receive a Proficient or Accomplished rating (grading rubrics are provided for each module) from the instructor and you are awarded a badge and certificate of attendance. Graduate credit is available, as well!

1. Bell Ringer:

Complete this pre-assessment to help provide context and focus to your learning experience.

2.  Setting The Stage:

Watch Setting The Stage for Creating a Collaborative Culture. When you have access to brilliance all around you, why go it alone?

3. Play List:

Explore the power of the collaborative with the resources provided below.

4. Integration In Action:

Review the following documents and protocols that you can use immediately to provide structure for teacher teams. All protocols were developed by teachers, for teachers and are available through the School Reform Initiative.

As you view the resources linked below, think about these questions:

Ask yourself if you could lead this activity with your peers?
How would you begin? Maintain momentum?
What supports would you need from your school leader(s)? How would you request that support?
If you had to choose 3-4 colleagues to begin the process, which ones would you choose and why?
How do these protocols focus on the big ideas put forth by Richard DuFour?

5.  Choice Board:

Choose an assignment from the choice board to complete and submit as evidence that you have mastered the information and applications found in the course.  Refer to the Choice Board Evaluation Rubric and the Guidelines for Submitting Your Assignment to ensure your evidence contains the necessary elements.

When you have completed your evidence of learning, finalize the purchase process at the bottom of this page.

6.  Reflection:

Take a moment to reflect on the work that you’ve accomplished and where you will go from here.

  • Thinking of the challenges that you face during the school year, how might working in PLCs be beneficials?
  • Describe the benefits of implementing and maintaining a culture of collaboration?
  • Exit Ticket – Show what you know!

Ready to earn your badge and get credit for this five-hour course?