Promotive Interactions

Learners working in groups support and build off of one another’s thinking to deepen engagement with the activities and enhance understanding of the related content and skills.


Three people together with thought bubbles

Engage group members in dialogue, inquiry, and critical thinking

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Use processes and protocols to explain, justify, and build on each other's ideas during group discussion

Questions to Ask Learners

  • How do you have discussions as a group?

  • How do you share and compare ideas?

  • Does this process of discussion work well for you as a group? Why or why not?

Three hands raised in the air

Collect and synthesize ideas from group dialogue into group consensus

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Use processes and protocols to collect group members' ideas and combine these perspectives into a shared consensus

Questions to Ask Learners

  • During a discussion, how do you collect everyone's ideas?

  • How do you combine them into a group share-out or agreement?

  • Why does this matter?

Square with a person on each corner and a gear in the middle

Process and reflect with group members

Evidence of Learner Behaviors

  • Use processes and protocols to reflect with group members about learning goals, group work, and next steps

Questions to Ask Learners

  • How do you reflect as a team on your discussions and group thinking?

  • How does this help you as a group?


Promotive interactions are key to improved achievement from collaboration. To ensure all group members are successful, individuals must provide one another with efficient and effective cognitive and motivational support.


Learners need positive and constructive interactions to be successful in collaboration, benefiting from cognitive supports for critical thinking and dialogue as well as motivational supports to foster engagement. It is also important to balance interdependence and individual accountability as well as provide opportunities for group processing and reflection.

Educator Actions

Learning facilitators encourage learners to support one another’s learning during collaborative time.

CSTPs: 2.2, 3.2

ribbon graphic


Design inquiry tasks for learners to tackle in groups. These inquiry experiences can happen in any content area (e.g., a text-based current event in ELA or in history, the study of a natural phenomena in science, an application of math in a real-world context). Provide learners with academic sentence frames to support them in summarizing each other’s thoughts and building upon them with their own.

This is a great support for your English Learners as well!


  • Integrate protocols and tools that guide collaborative processes, such as explaining and justifying reasoning to one another, providing peer feedback, and forming consensus from multiple perspectives (P/F)

  • Monitor and provide feedback on group interactions (F)

  • Make both individual and group goals for behavior and learning explicit and clear (P/F)

  • Uphold behavioral expectations to maintain a warm, safe environment (F)

P = planned F = facilitated spontaneously