Certain individuals do not feel comfortable participating in a group setting, even at a distance (i.e. shyness, fear of criticism). This awkwardness may keep some individuals from benefiting from the instruction.

Since collaborative learning generally grants the students more control over the flow of information, there is the possibility that the focus of the instruction may veer from its intended course.

As with any group activity, some members may contribute while others do not. At a distance this may pose even a greater problem than if all students were in the same room.

Problems may result if group members cannot agree or will not compromise. This can prove to be a huge problem if the group project is to be graded at the group level.

It can often be difficult to assemble all members of a particular group at the same time, especially in a distance-learning environment. This is only a disadvantage in situations where the collaboration is a mandatory part of the instruction and not simply an option available to the students.

The abundance of information that a group generates can prove to be difficult to compile individually.