This mini course will explore the differences between cooperative learning and group work. Many people confuse group work with cooperative learning and this course will demonstrate how they are two very different things. Specifically it will focus on the differences between the two and the benefits of cooperative learning as opposed to group work as well as what needs to be done in order to make cooperative learning successful.
Unit I will introduce you to the concept of cooperative learning and the elements that are incorporated in this concept. In Unit II you will learn about the differences between a lecture based lesson and a cooperative learning lesson and how a teacher needs to change how they present the material to students. In Unit III you will practice creating your own cooperative learning lesson based on the material you learned in the previous units. Finally, in Unit IV you will reflect on your learning and your own lesson. You will discuss how you might improve your lesson based on feedback and whether you would prefer to use cooperative learning in your classroom as opposed to other types of learning such as lecture.
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- Students will be able to identify and explain what cooperative learning is through their discussions.
- Students will be able to compare and contrast the differences between cooperative learning and group work.
- Students will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of homogeneous and heterogeneous grouping.
Performance Objectives Addressed:
- Students will be able to identify and discuss the obstacles to cooperative learning and how to overcome those obstacles.
- Students will be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of cooperative learning lessons.
- Students will be able to discuss and give examples of how to be a facilitator rather than a lecturer within cooperative learning lessons.
Students will be able to design their own Cooperative Learning activity that includes:
- Assigning a task with description of that task
- Setting up groups with explanation for those groups
- Explaining their role as a facilitator as well as the students' role
- An assessment with a rubric that makes all students accountable as a group and individually
Upon completion of the units above, (1-3), students will be able to analyze the information they learned and conclude and explain whether they are more or less likely to use cooperative learning lessons in their classroom and why.