Cooperative and Collaborative Learning
Cooperative learning is an approach to teaching and learning where students work in small groups or teams to complete meaningful activities such as solving problems or creating products. Groups share their strengths and address their weaknesses as a team.
Complete the Cooperative and Collaborative Learning free, online workshop from Educational Broadcasting Corporation.
Whether grouping young people for inquiry teams or reading assignments, it's important to think about the implications of homogeneous and heterogeneous groups.
Read How Are We Grouping? from Educational Leadership and ASCD. Issues related to grouping children have been around as long as schools. What are your thoughts on grouping children?
Cooperative Learning Strategies
In the chapter Empowered Learning in Curriculum Connections through the Library edited by Stripling and Hughes-Hassell, Violet H. Harada (2003, p. 53) notes that cooperative groups allow students to test their own understandings and to examine the understanding of others. Students may be experts on a particular topic and accountability for learning is shared with students.
Harada shared the following examples (2003, p. 53-54):
- Jigsaw where students read different parts of the same selection, share what they have read, ask questions of each other, and integrate their information.
- Reading buddies where upper-grade students serve as teachers or readers for emergent readers.
- Problem solving in teams where students identify the problem, generate questions to help understanding the problem, divide responsibilities to collect information, compare their findings, and agree on solutions based on evidence.
Read Cooperative Grouping from NETC.
Cooperative and Collaborative Learning in the Library Media Program
The cooperative learning method is a practical approach for media specialists and classroom teachers wishing to work together. For example, the media specialist can work with some teams while the classroom teacher works with others. This approach also works well for learning center activities where students rotate among a number of activities.
WebQuests and other inquiry-based learning activities often contain cooperative aspects. In some cases, students are asked to play roles in small group activities such as director, writer, videographer, graphic artist, or editor.
Literature circles have become a popular activity particularly in English and language arts classrooms. A group of students share the same reading experience such as an article or novel, develop and investigate questions, and hold discussions. Go to Literature Ladders: Themes and Literature Circles for ideas.
View Cooperative Learning (1:46).
In this video, students discuss their Medieval unit and collaborative projects. - Excerpt from “SOAR: A Reading Collaboration” by IU Ed Services
Use of this video clip complies with the TEACH act and US copyright law. You should be a registered student to view the video.
Read Key Word: Cooperative Learning in THE BLUE BOOK by Callison and Preddy, 344-348.
Cooperative Learning from Virginia Tech