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.
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