What You Need to Know About Cooperative Learning | Methods and Techniques
Learning new concepts, strategies, and methods quickly can be challenging for some students. But as another study showed, learning a new skill with friends rather than alone can actually be more beneficial than doing it on your own.
In their research on how instructors are able to make learners more productive, they found that students who were exposed to cooperative learning were also more likely to adopt new skills as their own. While this doesn’t mean that every instructor is a genius. Indeed, many could use some work, the researchers believe that through consistent practice and feedback from other students, instructors can build student confidence and motivation in cooperative learning.
Implementing collaborative practices has been shown to reduce variance in instruction and test score discrepancies among classes by 70%.
- What is a Cooperative Learning Classroom?
- How Effective Cooperative Practices are in Practice
- Finland Researchers
- Cooperative Learning Methods
- Why Cooperative Learning Is Important
- Cooperative Learning Techniques
What is a Cooperative Learning Classroom?
In the study, researchers from the University of Toronto tested two separate groups of students in a standardized learning environment. One group was allowed to operate a computer on their lunch break while the other was taught to use a handheld device. The researchers then measured the productivity of the two groups using simple surveys and tests. The researchers found that when students who were tested on their lunch break started to collaborate, they were not only more productive but also showed signs of increased academic competency.
Why does it matter? Coordination is perhaps the most important cognitive skill a student can have. Without it, they cannot comprehend information, make choices, or take action. This can have a huge impact on their education and workplace lives. Even simple tasks with up to 10% error can be complex for students if they do not have the necessary skills to perform them.
How Effective Cooperative Practices are in Practice
In their study, the researchers tested two different cooperative learning practices. One group was taught to “read between the lines,” which means looking at aspects of a task that are not directly visible, such as how students read texts and what parts of sentences they know.
The other group was taught to “write with others,” which means working in tandem, sharing information and ideas, and explaining what you have learned. This research focused on how well the two cooperative learning practices worked in practice, as well as how researchers should test them.
Finland-based researchers from the University of Toronto found that by including students in their study groups, they could make learning more productive. The researchers began with subjects who reported having lower academic achievement compared to others. Students in groups worked on a variety of tasks independently and collectively, while also working on their own.
In the end, they found that participants who were exposed to regular peer feedback and instruction showed greater motivation and productivity as learners than those who received no support systems at all. However, this study focused only on cognitive learning practices; future studies should look at how other methods are used to improve collaboration skills among students.
Cooperative Learning Methods
Cooperation between employees in a company rarely happens on its own. Employers must make an effort by taking initiatives that unite their workforce.
There are three categories of cooperative learning, each with a unique method of implementation.
1. Structured Cooperative Learning
It entails a team being given duties and projects by an employer. The team members stick together until the project is finished and follow a clear structure for what has to be done. It may last a couple of hours or several weeks.
2. Cooperative Learning informally
This kind of learning entails quickly assembling teams to finish a brief job at hand. They have very little structure and don’t need any advance preparation. They can assist with completing a day’s worth of labor or a small project.
3. Group education
It is the form of cooperative learning that is used in organizations the most frequently. It entails long-term groups with members that support, encourage, and help one another. These groups can endure up to a year or longer.
A few good examples are the several departments in a corporation, each with a team of individuals intended to advance the organization’s goals. Long-term organizational endeavors can also use it.
Why Cooperative Learning Is Important
Their workplace climate improves in a productive way as more employees continue to collaborate. Some of the main goals of establishing a cooperative learning culture in a company include the following:
- Developing and acquiring the abilities for daily life
- Sharing of knowledge
- Assembling a cooperative team
- Increases acceptance of diversity and tolerance
- Increasing employees’ output
Cooperative Learning Techniques
Try some of these with specific examples of how to apply them if you are using the same cooperative learning tactics repeatedly without success:
Two parties engage in an argument to get the desired result. An employee may submit a suggestion at a meeting by writing it on the board or using PowerPoint.
The participants divide into two groups, one of which opposes the idea and the other of which supports it. The organizations are compelled to argue by providing justifications for whether or not the proposal should be enacted.
The workers get to use their critical thinking abilities as well as their speaking quickly, clearly, and fluently. The participants are compelled to think about the idea as a group rather than an individual, as the adage goes, “a problem solved is a problem halved.” A novel concept or a present problem could be the proposition.
In this method, employees are divided into groups of three to five and asked to debate a subject that they have all had exposure to, either through seeing a video, hearing a speaker at a conference, or reading a document. Before breaking into groups, this information is made available to all members.
Everyone in the group participates when a piece of paper with the topic written on it is passed around.
Before giving the paper to the next member, each has some time to write a comment. To ensure that everyone has a chance to read what the other member writes, this process is repeated. The group then discusses the points raised by the members.
This approach mostly concentrates on subjects or problems that have a variety of potential answers. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for an employer to spot any misconceptions amongst workers.
This tactic can be utilized to introduce fresh perspectives and effectively address recurring problems inside a company. These cover things like pay, how tasks are divided up, security concerns, and how to implement the required changes.
Create a Cooperative Society
Employees should have several opportunities to teach and learn within a business. A cooperative community fosters a collaborative climate that makes problem-solving more effective. Platforms where their ideas are listened to in open dialogue are appealing to employees.
Three to five people will make up a cooperative community, together with goals and adaptable rules that each member must follow. A team of smart people may be needed for some jobs in an organization to tackle complicated problems, such as those involving networking, system security, training, etc.
For speedy completion, other tasks could need a combination of manual laborers. Such tasks are efficiently and quickly completed in a cooperative community.
Solve Issues Between Groups
You can gather some employees and give them an issue to solve if you have a cooperative community. The optimal adjustments for an existing project can be determined by gathering several teams and giving each one a challenge.
Every team generates ideas for the best solutions in a matter of days or weeks. They offer justifications for their decisions as well as a strategy for bringing about the change.
The employer evaluates the recommendations put forth by the teams and offers both positive and negative feedback. A new training program might be implemented, features for new goods might be developed, or existing software might be updated.
Each department has a team that works on various projects that have an overall impact on the business. To address current issues, the departments should each prepare a presentation for a discussion with other departments.
Additionally, the various departments can impart some of their concepts, ideas, and best practices to other departments so that they can use other tried-and-true strategies. This can include cooperation, working methods, and software, among other things.
Employees are given the opportunity to participate in any adjustments or improvements they deem essential as well as the ability to understand how the company functions as a whole.
The finance department could be interrupted by work being done by the IT department. The IT staff may explain how their actions affect other departments and how long it will take by exchanging notions.
Despite the difficulties, it makes it possible for the departments to communicate with one another and collaborate.
Finally, in order to successfully engage in collaborative online learning, learners and instructors must take into account the challenges and rewards that collaborative e-Learning activities bring.
Because cooperative learning is complicated, there should be time and resources available to promote the growth of online learning communities. Furthermore, for collaborative activities to be successful, sound teaching, motivation, and proficiency are needed. Collaborative learning activities develop along with students, teachers, and technology.