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Principles of Cooperative Learning. Or, How to Complete Successful Group Projects at LGHS. Look – Happy students in a cooperative group!. Why Group Projects?. Group projects simulate “real-life” tasks and assignments. In the workplace, it is rare for a manager to assign an independent task.

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Principles of cooperative learning

Principles of Cooperative Learning

Or, How to Complete Successful Group Projects at LGHS

Look – Happy students in a cooperative group!

Why group projects
Why Group Projects?

  • Group projects simulate “real-life” tasks and assignments. In the workplace, it is rare for a manager to assign an independent task.

  • Group projects hone skills such as compromise, time-management, problem-solving, clear communication, and listening.

Principles of cooperative learning1
Principles of Cooperative Learning

  • Here are five principles for success:

    • Assign roles

    • Honor commitments

    • Constructive feedback

    • Stay “on-task”

    • Mutual appreciation

Practice these tips – don’t assume that people already know how to work together effectively!

Principle 1 assign roles
Principle #1: Assign Roles

  • In an effective group, each member has a specific role that contributes to the overall success of the group.

  • For example, a school has administrators, teachers, custodians, and food service workersworking as a team.

Principle 1 assign roles1
Principle #1: Assign Roles

  • Here are some examples of roles:

    • Facilitator: keeps the group “on-task”

    • Timekeeper: maintains time limits

    • Cheerleader: encourages everyone to participate

    • Recorder: keeps group notes

    • Questioner (Why-s Guy): asks questions; helps the group go deeper

    • Sound Hound: monitors noise level

    • Observer: notes how effectively the group works together



Principle 2 honor commitments
Principle #2: Honor Commitments

  • Honoring commitments includes the following:

    • Starting and ending a meeting on-time;

    • Promptly returning a phone call or e-mail message; and

    • Arriving at the right time and place.

Go to practice, but don’t forget

about your group meeting!

Principle 2 honor commitments1
Principle #2: Honor Commitments

  • When working collaboratively, remember that your actions either help or hinder the group. Prioritize your group projects and recognize that others “need” you.

Don’t make others wait for you!

Principle 3 constructive feedback
Principle #3: Constructive Feedback

  • Criticism and a negative attitude are never appropriate. It’s alright to disagree, but remember the following principles:

    • Critique the idea, not the person.

    • When possible, offer a solution to the problem.

    • Remember that all suggestions must benefit the group, not an individual (i.e., you).

Constructive feedback is

critical for success!

Principle 4 stay on task
Principle #4: Stay “On-Task”

  • Effective groups are not side-tracked by other issues.

  • Below are some potential pitfalls:

    • Intra-group conflict;

    • Immature/Silly/Foolish behavior;

    • Lack of appropriate resources; and an

    • Upcoming test or major assignment.

Conflict can sideline a group.

Excessive socializing can be an obstacle.

Principle 4 stay on task1
Principle #4: Stay on Task

  • If a student is in a state of HALT, the group’s overall progress is hindered:

William Wilson, co-founder of AA

Principle 4 stay on task2
Principle #4: Stay on Task

  • “Dos”

    • Do listen when others are talking!

    • Do consider other people’s ideas!

    • Do show up on time!

  • “Don’ts”

    • Don’t engage in side conversations!

    • Don’t work on other assignments!

    • Don’t dominate the conversation!

Principle 5 mutual appreciation
Principle #5: Mutual Appreciation

  • Every group member has special gifts and talents. Recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of others!

  • Here are a few suggestions:

    • Recognize when others improve;

    • Compliment others for a helpful contribution; and

    • Focus on the positiveaspects of an individual.

Recognize the talents of your group members!

In conclusion
In Conclusion…

  • Throughout the year, we’ll practice these principles in class. You’ll get feedback from me and from your classmates on how well you incorporated these qualities.

  • Hopefully, you’ll find your group projects more stimulating, enjoyable, and constructive!

Don’t make me call yo’ mama!

Work cited
Work Cited

Jacobs, George M., Michael A. Power, and Wan Inn Loh. The Teacher's Sourcebook for Cooperative Learning : Practical Techniques, Basic Principles, and Frequently Asked Questions. New York: Corwin P, 2002.