Cooperation is much more than being physically near other students, discussing material with other students, helping other students, or sharing materials with other students, although each of these is important in cooperative learning. In order for a lesson to be cooperative the five following elements are essential.
Students perceive that they need each other in order to complete the group task. This is accomplished by establishing.
Students promote each others learning by helping, sharing, and encouraging efforts to learn. Students explain, discuss, and teach what they know to classmates. Groups are physically structured (i.e.. around a small table) so that students sit and talk through each aspect of the assignment.
Each student's performance is frequently assessed and the results are given to the group and the individual. Individual accountability is accomplished by giving an individual test to each student, or randomly selecting one group member to give the answer.
Groups cannot function effectively if students do not have and use the needed social skills. Collaborative skills include leadership, decision-making, trust-building, communication, and conflict-management skills.
Groups need specific time to discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships among members. The group processing is accomplished by assigning such tasks as (a) list at least three member actions that helped the group be successful and (b) list one action that could be added to make the group even more successful tomorrow. Teachers also monitor the groups and give feedback on how well the groups are working together to the groups and the class as a whole.
There are three basic types of groups. In this course we will use all three types of groups. Informal groups will be used each class period to solve in class problems. The Formal groups are your class homework groups, and I hope you will form stable Base Groups with students that are in more than one of your courses.
Typically used in a classroom - 15 min. lecture, 5 min. group, 15 lecture, 5 min. group, Summary
Typically lab groups, design projects, etc.