2 What is Cooperative Learning? Cooperative Learning refers to instructional methods in which pairs or small groups of learners work together to accomplish a shared goal. The aim of this cooperation is for learners to maximize their own and each other's learning, with members striving for joint benefit. By deliberately applying cooperative techniques, educators aim to correct the unconscious societal and educational bias that favours competition.
3 Essential Elements of Cooperation 1 Positive interdependenceLearners realize that they are connected to each other in a way where one cannot succeed unless everyone succeeds- each one is dependent on the contribution of all the others within the group.Face to face promotive interactionStudents need to work together in such a way that they contribute to each other's success by sharing resources, helping, supporting, and inspiring one another. This involves "orally explaining how to solve problems, teaching one's knowledge to others, checking understanding, discussing concepts learned, connecting present with past learning". Individual and group account-abilityThe group must be accountable for achieving its goal. Each individual must be accountable for his/her contribution
4 Essential Elements of Cooperation 2 Interpersonal and small group skillsSocial skills do not automatically develop during the course of group work, it must be purposefully be taught to students.Group processingExists when group members discuss whether they are achieving their goal satisfactorily. It includes discussion of the effectiveness of the working relationships.
5 Summary of Differences between Cooperative and Collaborative Learning Cooperative learningCollaborative learningStress product of collaborationAccentuate process of working togetherClosely controlled by educatorOnce task is set, instructor transfers all authority to groupTask is closed/ closable and content specificTask is open-endedBased on creation, analysis and systematic application of structures (patterns for student interaction)Distrust structure. Teaching centered: heterogeneous groups, structuring positive interdependence, teach cooperative skillsAllow student more say in forming friendship and interest groups. Resolve conflict with "Student talk" Interpersonal skills developed through discovery and contextual approaches
6 Summary of Differences between Cooperative and Collaborative Learning 2 Teacher centeredStudent centeredUse quantitative methods to look at achievementUse qualitative analysis e.g. analyzing student talk in response to piece of literature. Authority for testing and determining appropriateness of product rest with first the small group, then the plenary group and finally the requisite knowledge communityTraditional canonical knowledgeTies into social constructivist movementBest means to master foundational knowledgeUsed with students who have foundational knowledge, who can now discuss and assess
7 A Cooperative learning event is characterized by: Educationalist's role:Planning dynamic lessons for transfer of learningTeaching students to learnDeveloping student responsibilityPromoting active learningFacilitating student self evaluationEncouragingExtending participationMotivating high level thinkingDirectly teach social skillsBalancing interactions: teacher to student, student to material, student to studentLearning groups:Positive interdependenceIndividual accountabilityHeterogeneous membershipShared leadershipResponsible for each otherGroup discusses and evaluates its work and interactionsSize varies from 2-6 members, the less time available, the smaller the group should beTeacher selected groups often function better than student selected groupsMaximize heterogeneity ( High-, medium- and low-ability students within same group)Basic composition of groups:
8 Summary of Cooperative Groups Primary UseMake-upSelectionDurationInformal Task GroupsReview & processing of academic contentQuick, random groupingsTurn to your neighbourUntil end of acad-emic review/ processing activityFormal Task GroupsDaily classroom work& Special research projectsHeterogeneous ability groups & Homogenous interest groupsTeacher makes group based on student interest and abilityUntil end of lesson/ unit/project
9 Summary of Cooperative Groups Base GroupsSupport/Bonding activities & Social skill PracticeHomog-eneous peer relationships & Heterogeneous personality characteristicsBased on student peer relationsWhole quarter/ semester/ year
10 Conditions Any instructional activity is suitable Room is arranged to support small group collaboration and easy movement of teacherMaterial are arranged according to purpose of lessonAcademic Task is explained in detailStructure a positive goal interdependence by asking groups to produce a single product.Material, information and social interdependence is createdRoles are assigned to group members: e.g.. summarizer, checker, accuracy coach, researcher, recorder, encouragerProlonged and intense interaction among studentsAll members contribute and master the assigned materialTeacher monitors and intervenes in learning groups to teach collaborative skillsEvaluation is done according to pre-determined criteria
11 Positive Aspects of Cooperative Learning Develops interdependenceStudents develop pro-social behaviourImproved self-esteem and appreciation of schoolGreater psychological healthStudents develop positive peer relationships.Social & communication skills are developed.Improved intrinsic motivationGroups provide an academic and personal support systemReflective and metacognition abilities of learner are developed as student seek to clarify, explain and justify their standPromote greater competencies in critical thinkingCognitive "rehearsal" results in enhanced short- and long-term memory. Learner learns to accommodate various perspectives on an issue.Positive attitudes toward the subject areas studied.Higher achievement and greater productivity
12 Criticisms against Cooperative Learning Introverts sufferStudents with poor self-confidence, poor daring and fear for rejection sufferPeer pressure can undermining students who want to do more"Free rides" by less able membersMore able students do less to avoid being "suckers"High-ability members take over leadership roles at the expense of others.Group effort is characterized by self-induced helplessness Responsibility is diffused and social loafing occursGroup gangs up against a taskDestructive conflict occurs
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