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Cooperative learning is a structured instructional strategy which emphasize active learning through interpersonal interaction, where students act as partners with the teacher and each other. The role players in cooperative learning are therefore teacher and students. The roles of these two in cooperative learning groups are summarized in this essay. Research suggests that cooperative learning is advantageous for : - academic content-related achievement (cognitive), content- developing higher order thinking skills (cognitive and metameta-cognitive), - social interpersonal skills (affective).
Why use Cooperative Learning?
Research has shown that cooperative learning techniques: promote student learning and academic achievement increase student retention enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience help students develop skills in oral communication develop students' social skills promote student self-esteem selfhelp to promote positive race relations
Elements of Cooperative Learning 1. Positive Interdependence (sink or swim together) Each group member's efforts are required and indispensable for group success Each group member has a unique contribution to make to the joint effort because of his or her resources and/or role and task responsibilities .
Face-to-Face Interaction Face-to(promote each other's success) Orally explaining how to solve problems Teaching one's knowledge to other Checking for understanding Discussing concepts being learned Connecting present with past learning .2.
Having students teach what they learned to someone else. Observing each group and recording the frequency with which each membermember-contributes to the group's work. Randomly examining students orally by calling on one student to present his or her group's work to the teacher (in the presence of the group) or to the entire class. Assigning one student in each group the role of checker. . Individual &Group Accountability ( no hitchhiking! no social loafing) Keeping the size of the group small. The checker asks other group members to explain the reasoning and rationale underlying group answers. the greater the individual accountability may be. The smaller the size of the group. Giving an individual test to each student.3.
Interpersonal & Small-Group Skills SmallSocial skills must be taught: ± Leadership ± Decision-making Decision± Trust-building Trust± Communication ± Conflict-management skills Conflict- .4.
Group Processing Group members discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships Describe what member actions are helpful and not helpful Make decisions about what behaviors to continue or change .5.
Teacher The role of the teacher in cooperative learning becomes predominantly that of a planner and facilitator of active learning. as opposed to that of instructor. Example activities are: observes and intervenes during in-class group work inasking of open-ended questions during in-class group openinwork praise and encouragement during in-class group work inextending participation and involving group members facilitating student responsibility and self-evaluation selfpromoting student learning of meta-cognitive and social metaskills .Roles in cooperative learning 1.
Examples of roles are: team leader or coordinator (organisation and presentation) recorder (schedule meetings and records research) data collector (uses resources to obtain data) media specialist or materials manager (collates data from different media) checker (ensures all members have reached goals) Time keeper (ensures on-task participation within time limits) onlimits) encourager or supporter (supports all members to fair contributions) clarifier (gives examples or alternatives) initiator (proposes tasks or procedures) reconciler or mediator (reconciles disagreements) group process monitor (observes and balances group dynamics) .2. Group roles may be assigned. or shared. Students Students become more active role players in learning . responsible for each other and the group. rotated.they become peer experts and act as peer instructors.
Computers In computer-assisted cooperative learning computerthe "computer" also becomes a role player. . in the sense that the instructional design of the program used also impacts on the interaction and learning.3.
Communication styles challenging to cooperation are evaluation. Communication styles invaluable in cooperative learning are description. problem orientation. empathy and equality. .Social interaction Social skills The interpersonal skills cited as being enhanced by cooperative Measures for social interaction leadership decisiondecision-making conflict management team skills such as trust. spontaneity. neutrality. Behavior required for successful communication in cooperative groups are speaking clearly with good voice quality and correct pace (and in the classroom setting with a 6" voice). listening actively while maintaining eye contact. support and consensus. control. strategy. superiority & certainty. writing legibly.
while success leads to high levels of cohesion (Miller & Cooper. Emphasis on social skills lead to reduced levels of academic achievement (and worse group cohesion). cognitive conflict. it is important to take the relationship between group cohesion and individual productivity into account. 1994) Cooperative groups are typically heterogeneous with respect to: levels of ability cultural and gender diversity social style. social conflict. . interest. The individual productivity has a greater effect on group cohesion than the other way around. geographic location. Attributes that may be used in deciding on groupings are age. friendship.Group dynamics In cooperative learning the teacher usually decides on the formation of groups. In planning the group structure. schedule.
Measures for social interaction The following is a list of measures used in research on social interaction within groups: Perception of self / perception of peers / perception of success (goal) / attitude towards content. . attitude towards group work / attitude towards computer / eye contact (with video in distance learning) / use of humor or banter / helphelp-seeking vocalization / deferential speech / contributing ideas / expressing feelings / acceptance / expressing support / acceptance / encouraging / summarizing.
. Jigsaw Groups with five students are set up. After practice in these "expert" groups the original groups reform and students teach each other. Tests or assessment follows. To help in the learning students across the class working on the same sub-section get together to decide what is subimportant and how to teach it. Each group member is assigned some unique material to learn and then to teach to his group members.Class Activities that use Cooperative Learning 1.
Three-Step Interview ThreeEach member of a team chooses another member to be a partner. During the second step partners reverse the roles. For the final step. During the first step individuals interview their partners by asking clarifying questions. members share their partner's response with the team.2. .
Individuals pair up during the second step and exchange thoughts.3. or the entire group. Think-Pair-Share Think-Pair(Involves a three step cooperative structure) During the first step individuals think silently about a question posed by the instructor. the pairs share their responses with other pairs. . other teams. In the third step.
After the "think time. The recorder writes down the answers of the group members.4. A question is posed with many answers and students are given time to think about answers." members of the team share responses with one another round robin style. Round Robin Brainstorming Class is divided into small groups (4 to 6) with one person appointed as the recorder. . The person next to the recorder starts and each person in the group in order gives an answer until time is called.
ask clarifying questions or answer questions.5. Three-minute review ThreeTeachers stop at any time during a lesson presentation or discussion and give teams three minutes to review what has been said. .
Each member is given numbers of 1. Teacher calls out a number (two) and each two is asked to give the answer. 2. Groups work together to answer the question so that all can verbally answer the question. Numbered Heads A team of four is established. Questions are asked of the group. . 4. 3.6.
By allowing them to work on problems they could not do alone. first as a team and then with a partner. they progress to a point they can do alone that which at first they could do only with help. Students can do more things with help (mediation) than they can do alone. It is designed to motivate students to tackle and succeed at problems which initially are beyond their ability. It is based on a simple notion of mediated learning. then with a partner. .7. and finally on their own. Team Pair Solo Students do problems first as a team.
. Each in turn. For example the teacher may ask who in the class was able to solve a difficult math homework question. The sage explains what they know while the classmates listen. the disagreements are aired and resolved. If there is disagreement. explains what they learned. The teacher then has the rest of the classmates each surround a sage. Circle the Sage First the teacher polls the class to see which students have a special knowledge to share. with no two members of the same team going to the same sage. Finally. who knows the chemical reactions involved in how salting the streets help dissipate snow. who had visited Mexico.8. they compare notes. Those students (the sages) stand and spread out in the room. Because each one has gone to a different sage. All students then return to their teams. ask questions. and take notes. they stand up as a team.
Teams go back together with each set of partners teaching the other set. Partners work to learn and can consult with other partners working on the same material. Half of each team is given an assignment to master to be able to teach the other half. Partners The class is divided into teams of four. Partners quiz and tutor teammates. Partners move to one side of the room. Team reviews how well they learned and taught and how they might improve the process. .9.
clcrc. < http://www. "Ideas on Cooperative Learning and the use of Small Groups. Kagan.html> .clcrc.html> "http://www.kagancooplearn.com/pages/cl. Spencer. "Kagan Structures for Emotional Intelligence.htm> .com/pages/cl." [Online] 15 October 2001.clcrc." [Online] 15 October 2001." [Online] 15 October 2001.com/pages/overviewpaper. David and Roger Johnson.html>. http://www. <http://www.kagancooplearn. "Cooperative Learning.edu/profdev/resources/learning/groups1.html>.howardcc.html>.htm> <http://www.clcrc.com/Newsletter/1001/index. <http://www.Resources David and Roger Johnson.com/Newsletter/1001/index. <http://www. http://www.html>.howardcc.edu/profdev/resources/learning/groups1. Howard Community College's Teaching Resources." [Online] 15 October 2001. "An Overview of Cooperative Learning.com/pages/overviewpaper.
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