The article presents a study of the life and work of Alexander G. Rivin (1877-1944), Russian Soviet teacher, educator, creator of collective mutual learning methods. Analysis based on various information sources (articles, memories, official documents, novels) and six implementation experiences related to Rivin teaching activities. It shows the formation of his unique didactic collective mutual learning system, which is based on the method of Co-dialogue (associative dialogue). A particularly striking example of his educational invention was the activity of "Joint Group for Technical Education" (OGVTO), known in Moscow in the thirties of the XX century as a "university without professors." Rivin's experience in the field of training of engineers is important for teachers of technical colleges who use the interactive teaching methods.