Measuring social interdependence in collaborative learning: instrument development and validation

Ikuo Shimizu*, Makoto Kikukawa, Tsuyoshi Tada, Teiji Kimura, Robbert Duvivier, Cees van der Vleuten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background In health professions education, several collaborative learning approaches have been used. As collaborative learning has a theoretical background of social interdependence theory, a theory informed and valid instrument to measure social interdependence is required to evaluate and compare several learning approaches. The aim of this study was to develop an instrument (the SOcial interdependence in Collaborative learning Scale; SOCS) to measure students' perceived social interdependence in collaborative learning and validate it. Methods We conducted a modified Delphi procedure among stakeholders to develop the content validity of the instrument. To establish construct validity, we performed a confirmatory factor analysis, and we estimated reliability. Results Two rounds of Delphi were conducted to develop the instrument. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded a three-factor model with 15 items, which provided an excellent fit with CMIN/df = 1.838, GFI = 0.924, CFI = 0.951, RMSEA = 0.061, and PCLOSE = 0.121. Alpha-coefficients for all factors indicated high internal consistency of all the factors. Conclusion This study describes the development and construct validation of the SOCS for measuring social interdependence in collaborative learning. This instrument will provide teachers and schools with feedback about their classroom environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Social interdependence
  • Collaborative learning
  • Instrument
  • Validation
  • WORK
  • PBL

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