Cooperative Learning


  • Introduction to Cooperative Learning (Cooperative Learning Institute)
    How students interact with each another is a neglected aspect of instruction.  Much training time is devoted to helping teachers arrange appropriate interactions between students and materials (i.e., textbooks, curriculum programs) and some time is spent on how teachers should interact with students, but how students should interact with one another is relatively ignored.  It should not be.  How teachers structure student-student interaction patterns has a lot to say about how well students learn, how they feel about school and the teacher, how they feel about each other, and how much self-esteem they have.
  • Cooperative Learning (Project-Based Learning Space)
    Over the past twenty years different approaches to cooperative learning have been proposed by different individuals. The three most popular are those of David Johnson and Roger Johnson (Johnson et al., 1994), Robert Slavin (1994, 1995), and Shlomo Sharan and Yael Sharan (Sharan, 1995; Sharan & Sharan, 1994). To give you a general sense of what cooperative learning is like and to avoid limiting you to any one individual's approach, the following discussion is a synthesis of the main features of each approach.
  • Cooperative Learning Group Activities for College Courses
    is a compilation of cooperative learning activities suitable for use in college level courses. The book is composed of six major sections. The first section is a foreword on how to use this guide. Section two is a brief overview of the elements of cooperative learning and how they can be applied. The next two sections are organizational activities for instructors and preparatory activities for participants prior to using the fifth, main section, containing over 100 customizable activity structures for a variety of objectives and learning outcomes. It includes a template for developing cooperative learning activities, as well as sample group activities for:
  1. climate setting, 
  2. group function, 
  3. accountability, 
  4. knowledge and comprehension, 
  5. application, analysis, 
  6. synthesis and evaluation, 
  7. interaction and practise, 
  8. reflection, 
  9. activities to complement projects, 
  10. activities to acquire feedback, and 
  11. activities to end a course. 
  • Cooperative Learning at the College Level (The NEA Higher Education Journal 5. Laura M. Ventimiglia)
    If the United States is to be competitive in the global marketplace, we must first teach our students to be cooperative with one another. This irony must be addressed. The changing workplace of today is relying more and more on the interdependence of individuals in work teams for higher productivity.... Given such an obstacle, it becomes critical for our educational system to produce students who are able to work with others. With the increasing need for college degrees in preparation for the workforce, college professors become the last link between young people and the workplace.
  • Using Cooperative Learning in the College Classroom (The NEA Higher Education Journal 33. Pamela G. George)
  • Cooperative Learning Returns To College: What Evidence Is There That It Works?
    The myth of individual genius and achievement--as opposed to cooperative efforts--is deeply ingrained in American culture. Americans seem deeply committed to the idea of the individual hero---a rugged self-starter who meets challenges and overcomes adversity. Sports, for example, are more often defined by individual superstars than by the quality of teamwork. Academic excellence is more often personified by the valedictorian than by academic teamwork.
  • Making Cooperative Learning Work in the College Classroom: An Application of the ‘Five Pillars’ of Cooperative Learning to Post-Secondary Instruction
    Cooperative learning is a viable yet generally underutilized method of instruction at the college level (Paulsen and Faust, 2008). This paper highlights the work of teacher educator Dr. Paul J. Vermette in his implementation of cooperative learning based practices in a graduate level multicultural education course. In analyzing the 'Five Pillars' of cooperative learning as outlined by Johnson, Johnson & Smith (1991), this article will highlight Vermette's implementation of cooperative learning structures to this theroretical framework. Through narratives of Vermette's actual teaching, the authors will provide suggestions for implementing cooperative learning in the college classroom.
  • Effective Cooperative Learning (Teaching by Design)
    Every cooperative learning activity has a specific structure - a particular procedure that can be described step by step. A variety of simple and more complex cooperative structures are described, shared and modelled in the workshops.

    When using any of these structures, the content may change but the procedures for engaging in the activity remain the same.

    When Cooperative Learning is implemented effectively we can expect higher self esteem and achievement, increased retention, greater social support and more on task behaviour. Students attain greater collaborative skills and intrinsic motivation, increased perspective taking, better attitudes toward teachers and school and greater use of higher level reasoning. (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec (1990)).