The Basics of Cooperative Learning

Revision as of 19:26, 13 December 2016 by Mollybennett (talk | contribs) (What is Cooperative Learning)

Lets get started on the basics

Before we get started on the first lesson, we are going to put ourselves in the mind set of an educator. Think about your classroom, or, if you are not currently in a classroom, think about your time spent in a K-12 classroom as a student. When picturing this setting, begin to think about the words Cooperative Learning. What do these words mean to you?

Please click on the link to jot down your ideas. You will be using this link throughout the course, and it will be open to others. Please initial next to your ideas, or use a specific color to remember which ideas were yours! This link will not open in a new tab. Please open it in new tab, or use the back button to return back to this page.

Link to Google Doc

What is Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning, in it's most basic form, is a type of learning strateegy where students work together to achieve a common goal. In these purposefully created groups, students have specific roles and goals they need to achieve individually, in order to have whole group success. From this standpoint, with cooperative learning, it is not possible for groups to be successful without the effort of each individual student in the group. If one member of the group fails to do their part, a piece of the 'cooperative learning puzzle' is missing- and the group may be lacking valuable knowledge.

Please click on the link below and scroll down to the section titled- Collaborative Learning 101. In this short passage, you will begin to gain insight as to what cooperative learning is and start to picture it in your mind.

Cooperative Learning 101

Additionally, please refer to the link below and read the first page, to gain more insight on cooperative learning.

Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning: From the Eyes of a Teacher

Now let's put ourselves in the mind set of an educator. When you are used to traditional learning styles, in which the lessons are frequently teacher-led and lecture based, it may be difficult to change the learning structure and put more control into the hands of our students. Educators frequently fear that the classroom will become more chaotic and students will lose focus on the work that is front of them. Additionally, teachers frequently struggle with giving control over to the students, for fear that curriculum will not be covered in it's entirety.

However, teachers still hold a very important role in the classroom when their students are engaged in cooperative learning! First of all, the teacher creates purposeful groups and creates jobs for each member of the group. While students are working collaboratively with one another, the teacher works as a facilitator, guiding students while they are learning. Additionally, the teacher is continuously monitoring the students, and teaching the students the rules that need to be put in place when engaging with their group members (Coffey, 2008). We will touch more on the specifics of cooperative learning later in the course, but please read this article to learn more about the teacher's role in cooperative learning. When you are finished, report back to the google doc and fill in the remaining box.

Teacher's Role in Cooperative Learning

Before you move on to lesson 2...

Before moving on to lesson 2, please ensure that you have completed the chart for lesson one. The ideas that you post in the chart will be very important as we move through the course. They will allow you to see how your ideas and understandings change over time, and will serve as a place that you can refer back to at the end of the course. In this lesson, we have thought about what we know about cooperative learning and began thinking about what we think cooperative learning looks like in the classroom. We read some basic details about cooperative learning, in order to receive an overview of what cooperative learning is and what it looks like. We will see how our understanding changes overtime, and what we need to effectively implement cooperative learning.

Once again, here is the link to the Google Doc Link to Google Doc

Please complete the following exit ticket before moving on to lesson 2:

Lesson 1 Exit Ticket

All set? Click to go to lesson 2- Aspects of Cooperative Learning

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Coffey, H. (2008). Cooperative learning. Retrieved from:

Cox, J. Quick guide to cooperative learning. Retrieved from:

Fredericks, A. D. (2005). What is cooperative learning and what does it do. In A. Frederick (Ed.), The complete idiot's guide to success as a teacher. USA: Penguin Group. Retrieved from:

Manis, C. (2012). An overview and analysis of cooperative learning. Retrieved from: