Cooperative learning (CL) uses small cohorts/groups to encourage students to work through tasks together to enhance their learning and the learning of the students around them (Johnson & Johnson, 2018). CL challenges students to grow through high levels of autonomy, its promotion of personal responsibility and the group-to-individual transfer of learning through the advancement of social relationships (“Five Characteristics,” n.d). More specifically, CL is comprised of five essential characteristics that serve as a structural guideline for educators who choose to implement this method of learning:
- Positive interdependence
- Positive interdependence is the primary component of CL, as students must believe and perceive that there is value in working together, more specifically, that their individual learning and working product cannot succeed without the group’s collaboration (Laal, 2013).
- Individually accountable
- Individually accountable is an essential structural component of CL as it helps combat the free-rider effect and social loafing within the cohort/groups (Laal et al., 2013). Individual accountability through CL is maintained by assessing the performance of each individual in the group and then providing the results as feedback to the group and the individual (Laal et al., 2013). As a result, there is an enhanced promotion of equity and insurance that students who need more aid and assistance are identified.
- Promotive interaction
- Promotive interaction encourages group members to support, assist and motivate each other. In doing so, further cognitive processing is stimulated, including how to constructively provide feedback on group members idea’s, use of verbal skills to communicate ideas, and connection of individual learning towards a common goal (Johnson & Johnson, 2018).
- Social skills
- CL requires students to enhance and develop a deep understanding of interpersonal skills for the group to function effectively and efficiently. Some of which include leadership skills, conflict-management skills, and decision-making strategies (Johnson & Johnson, 2018).
- Group processing
- The final structural component of CL is group processing, which is an opportunity for students to examine and review the effectiveness of the individual member’s actions and group strategies used throughout the work process (Johnson et al., n.d). In doing so, students can reflect on what tools and strategies should be used in the group’s future endeavours.
CL aligns very well with our Interactive Learning resource (How to design and deliver an effective presentation). Our group has stressed the importance of formative assessment through peer reviews as a critical tool in the learner’s development and success. With CL, learners will be getting a more constant inflow of peer feedback through the enhanced encouragement of positive interdependence, individual accountability, and promotive interaction that comes from group work. Furthermore, because our interactive learning resource has significant potential for future application, the added value of the structural component of CL, group processing, helps ensure learners have a more concrete understanding of the strategies and skills they should carry forward.
Johnson, D., & Johnson, R. (2018). Cooperative learning: The foundation for active learning. IntechOpen. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/63639
Five Characteristics Of Cooperative Learning. IPL . (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://www.ipl.org/essay/Five-Characteristics-Of-Cooperative-Learning-PKWUPW7EAJF6
Laal, M. (2013). Positive interdependence in collaborative learning. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042813035039#:~:text=Positive%20interdependence%20is%20the%20belief,they%20are%20done%20in%20collaboration.
Laal, M., Geranpaye, L., & Daemi, M. (2013). Individual accountability in collaborative learning. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042813032941#:~:text=Individual%20accountability%20occurs%20when%20the,assistance%20and%20support%20in%20learning. Johnson, D., Johnson, R., Stanne, M., & Garibaldi, A. (n.d.). Impact of group processing on achievement in cooperative groups. The Journal of social psychology. Retrieved May 31, 2022, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28135508/#:~:text=Group%20processing%20may%20be%20defined,actions%20to%20continue%20or%20change.