Cooperative Learning

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Over the past decade, cooperative learning has become one of the most popular, but often misunderstood, instructional strategies. Done properly, organizing students into cooperative learning groups has a powerful effect on learning. Cooperative learning has the added benefits of improving students' skills in communication, decision making, and conflict-resolution. Recognized leaders in the field of cooperative learning, Roger Johnson and David Johnson, define five elements of cooperative learning:
  • positive interdependents - a sense of sink or swim together
  • face-to-face promotive interaction - helping one another learn, applauding effort and success
  • individual and group accountability - each of us has to contribute to the group achieving its goals
  • interpersonal and small group skills - communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution
  • group processing - reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how it can function even better.

Johnson D.W., Johnson, R.T., & Holubec, E.J. (1993). Cooperation in the classroom (6th ed.). Edina, MN: Interaction Book.

Read and Reflect

  1. Read about Cooperative Learning from the Northwest Educational Technology Consortium.
  2. Go to the Read and Reflect section on your Cooperative Learning wiki page. Describe how you are currently implementing this strategy in your classroom with or without technology. Then share new insights or ideas you gained from this reading.

Apply and Reflect

  1. Learn about Google Docs and how it can be used for cooperative learning.
  2. Complete the Apply and Reflect section on your Cooperative Learning wiki page. Show evidence that you completed the activity and share ways this tool is applicable to your curriculum.