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Cooperative Learning . A number of strategies whereby students help one another acquire course content. Cooperation in Context. Learning may be competitive, individualistic, or cooperative

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Cooperative Learning

  • A number of strategies whereby students help one another acquire course content


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Cooperation in Context

  • Learning may be competitive, individualistic, or cooperative

  • Competitive goals encourage students to work against one another; evaluation is norm-referenced and grades are distributed along a bell-curve with good, average and poor performers


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Cooperation in Context

  • Individualistic goals encourage students to disregard their classmates; evaluation is criterion-referenced and students looked after their self-interests or personal mastery or specified objectives

  • Cooperative goals emphasize collaboration and shared understanding on any task; evaluation is interdependence – a group must succeed for an individual to succeed.


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Tenets of Cooperative Learning

  • Individual and group accountability: each student is accountable for a specific task or topic as well as topics assigned to other group members

  • Positive interdependence: each team benefits when all embers perform well, and is held accountable when one or more members do not


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Tenets of Cooperative Learning

  • Group processing: students coached on group process skills – supporting differences, listening, providing feedback, gate keeping to ensure all participate, coaching others, reaching consensus


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Tenets of Cooperative Learning

  • Promote group process by assigning roles

  • Leaders keep groups on task, ensure everyone participates and understands

  • Recorders manage group files and folders, tracking each team member’s contributions

  • Reporters give responses to the class about as group’s activities or conclusions

  • Monitors act as timekeepers for activities


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Setting Up

  • Use small groups

  • Heterogeneous groups suggested by research (e.g., mixed gender, race, and ability levels)

  • Low ability student typically improves performance when grouped with higher ability student; higher ability student sometimes decreases in performance


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Strategies: Think-Pair-Share

  • Think-pair-share is one of dozens of cooperative learning strategies described on the Internet

  • Students are prompted to think about a topic or problem, record their ideas, pair with a neighbour and share their ideas


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Strategies: Affinity

  • Students jot issues, concerns, or olutions on a card

  • Cards collected and compared by group

  • “like” cards are sorted together to create categorized and focus on issues, concerns, or solutions students have in common


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Strategies: Find the Fib

  • Students learn different parts of a topic

  • Each student teaches their piece of the topic to their group, including a fib or non-truthful element in their instruction

  • After each student’s instruction, groups discuss the content and try to find the fib


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Cooperative Learning Outcomes

  • Critical thinking, reasoning about course content (active learning)

  • Students acquire better understanding of course content as they are required to explain topics to others in team

  • Better attitudes towards courses


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Cooperative Learning Outcomes

  • Increased social skills, respect for multiple opinions and perspectives

  • Higher achievement

  • Higher productivity


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