User:Alysha Stephens


Alysha Stephens Personal Profile

ETAP 623 Design Project

Cooperative Learning

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.

Enjoy this introductory video to Cooperative Learning on YouTube

See Project Units

Learning Outcomes

The purpose of this course is for students to be able to:

  • Compare the differences between cooperative learning and group work
  • Describe the benefits of cooperative learning
  • Explain how the cooperative learning process works and why
  • Apply cooperative learning across the curriculum
  • Design a lesson plan using cooperative learning techniques discussed throughout the course

Needs Assessment

1. Intent
Many educators and educators-to-be believe the misconception that there is only one method to working in groups. They are often under the impression that group work is disruptive, hard to assess, lacking accountability, and takes so much preparation that it is often not worth it. The intent of this mini course is to show that "group work" can actually be more beneficial than a lecture, can incorporate student accountability and assessment if it is prepared by using the methods of cooperative learning.
2. Gathering Information
In order to gauge the necessity of a course on the benefits of cooperative learning, a survey of seven teachers was administered. This population ranged across all subjects and age ranges and the summary can be viewed here. File:Survey Summary.pdf

3. Revised Intent

Based on the results of the survey, the answers ranged all across the board. There was very little correlation between answers on each participants knowledge of group work or cooperative learning. When engaged in discussion post survey, most of the participants had very little knowledge on the difference between the two and half of the participants did not think there was a difference. Even those participants who had some knowledge on cooperative learning still believed that it was difficult to design and they would avoid it in most classroom situations. Based on these results, a mini course on cooperative learning and it's benefits would be of great use to many teachers (based on this very small sample of population). The revised intent of this course remains similar to the initial intent based on the variety of answers compiled in the needs assessment survey.

Performance Objectives

1. Given a set of articles/readings, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the five elements of cooperative learning groups through participation in class discussion.

2. Students will be able to deliberately set up cooperative learning groups (hetero or homegeneous) according to their chosen topic and based on interests, and/or ability, and/or learning style.

3.Students will be able to define and discuss the habits of a facilitator rather than a lecturer by developing goals for the groups and a checklist of tasks for the groups to accomplish.

4. Students will be able to create assessments that make every student accountable by assigning a role to every student and a rubric to coincide with that assessment.

5. Students wil be able to design a cooperative learning task that includes all of the elements of a cooperative learning lesson with prearranged groups and an assessment that makes all students accountable

6. After performing all of the above tasks, students will be able to reflect on the benefits of cooperative learning structure and whether they are more or less likely to apply it to their classroom and why through discussion.

Task Analysis/Curriculum Map

Please see curriculum map here: File:CL Map.pdf

References and Resources

Web Article

Video: Cooperative Learning in Chemistry

Essays and Publications

Benefits of Cooperative Learning

Statistics on Academic Achievement

Basic Elements:

Group Work:

Case Study: