Cooperative Learning - the power of peers!


Cooperative Learning should not be confused with group work. If students are working in an unstructured interaction, then this is group work. Cooperative Learning activities, on the other hand, must have all four of the following elements:
•    Positive Interdependence
•    Individual accountability
•    Monitor the groups
•    Equal Participation

Research verifies that students’ results improve with cooperative learning as opposed to individual learning (Hattie, 2009). With cooperative learning, students have the opportunity to see other perspectives, there are more opportunities to discuss, debate and challenge the material being learnt and there are greater opportunities for peer tutoring.

Time: 90 minutes - 3 hours

A. Cooperative Learning 
•    Ensuring all cooperative learning activities have the PIME criteria
•    Avoiding the pitfalls
•    What does the research say?
•    Why is cooperative learning so effective?

B. Cooperative Learning Tools
•    Silent Card Shuffle – for matching, sequencing, classifying and positioning activities
•    Round Robin and Hot Potato – for brainstorming activities
•    1:4:Publish:Circle:Refine – for writing and creative / design tasks
•    Think:Pair:Share – allows thinking time and more thoughtful responses
•    Stimulus RAS Alert – for improved retention of a film, field trip or book. 
•    Judge Jury – for debatable topics
•    3:2:1: RIQ – for consolidating information

Supporting research

High Impact Teaching Strategies - Excellence in Teaching and Learning, 2017

  • Cooperative Learning – small groups / high participation – effect size: 0.59
  • Multiple exposures – spaced practice / building on new knowledge – effect size: 0.71

Note: An effect size of 1.0 would improve the rate of learning by 50% and would mean that, on average, students receiving that treatment would exceed 84% of students not receiving that treatment.