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This research examines the development of a system architecture for collaborative learning that combines feedback, group awareness, and chat in the form of both textual and auditory input. The goals are to evaluate the capability of building such a model through the design of a prototype system, and to investigate the feasibility of implementing the prototype in a handheld learning environment. This model can serve as a template for providing interface tools, communication strategies and data manipulation. It is also easily adaptable and can be modified to support a variety of platforms, including both wireless and wired scenarios. The mobility created via a wireless network provides the opportunity for users to move about collaborating freely without being tied to desks, workstations, or even laboratories. The implementation of voice input for soliciting user data is important in settings where users are younger (i.e., elementary level users) or unable to manipulate the standard keypad or provide written input. This model when coupled with a proven collaborative learning methodology can be effective in assisting individuals in building cognition. Also, the architecture can be used by others wishing to develop collaborative learning systems for handhelds, an area of research where such systems are nonexistent. Because of the popularity of handhelds and their incorporation into a variety of settings, computer scientists need to be at the forefront in developing significant research projects that can investigate the capability, impact and extensibility of handheld computers. In the study, a paper prototype test was conducted to determine an optimum interface layout conducive to mobile interaction between users via personal digital assistants (iPAQ™ PDAs). The test responses confirmed that the interface design strategies decided upon prior to testing were consistent with user preferences, and that speech was indeed the preferred method of input for the target group (younger users). The prototype system, developed using the Java 2 Mobile Environment (J2ME) software platform and the Java Wireless Toolkit 2.1 development tool, presents a model for providing a variety of collaborative communication methods between users by incorporating both textual and voice input methods. The architecture also provides a mechanism for handling networked messaging between users on a wireless network, and demonstrates that the model can be made adaptable to a wired network with little modification. The application of the prototype to a successful reading comprehension methodology – Question-Answer Relationships (QAR), is demonstrated and lessons learned during system development are presented. A discussion follows of future research strategies and remaining areas of application.