For each objective in higher education student engagement is a prerequisite. However, many of todays’ ‘mass’ universities lack particularly engaged students. Further, collaborative learning, which is the essence of each learning process, has been neglected in education for decades. We argue that digital technologies can support and foster collaboration (online) which in turn advances student engagement. Over the last decades, technology has tremendously and unforeseeably reorganized the ways we live, communicate and learn. One of the most promising but also challenging aspects of this change is the social learning approach. Learning in a digital and connected age does not depend on individual knowledge acquisition, storage, and retrieval; rather, it relies on connected learning that occurs through engaged interaction with various sources of knowledge and participation in communities of common interest, social networks and group tasks. Since learning as such, collaborative learning and engagement are strongly influenced by social interactions, technologies like social media can be powerful pedagogical instruments. However, it is not completely evident which factors contribute to a successful collaborative and engaged learning scenario (online). There is still a lack of research concentrating on impacting factors that trigger collaboration and engagement supported by social media in higher education. In this paper we suggest that the functioning of the learning community is one important factor, which has an impact on collaborative learning (online) and subsequently on the level of student engagement. By drawing on the educational team climate inventory (TCI), this paper provides propositions how various factors from the TCI impact students’ perceived collaborative learning, perceived learning online as well as their engagement behaviour. Data (N = 48) from a quantitative pre-test that was distributed with an online questionnaire, offer initial impressions for the proposed hypotheses. The results reveal for example that the alignment of goals and support for individual learning have a positive influence on perceived collaborative learning. This paper constitutes a foundation to provoke additional empirical research regarding antecedents that impact collaboration, learning online and engagement in higher education. Consequently, our intention is to analyse, how the positive dynamics of collaboration (online) can be used to engage students.