Cooperative learning is situated within the social constructivist paradigm. Students work on projects or problems in teams with both personal and team accountability for conceptual understanding. Elements of cooperative learning are found in many of the teaching models described in this web site, including anchored instruction, cognitive apprenticeships, problem-based learning, and often case-based learning.
Download annotated Powerpoint slides describing the cooperative learning model (PDF File).
If you have created course materials at Virginia Tech that are representative of this teaching model, we would like to showcase your work here. Please contact us with a description of your project so other faculty may learn from your efforts.
Design and Development Tips
programs can provide the incentive to "kick-off" a cooperative
learning task. In structured settings such as K-12 classrooms, multimedia
programs often present a scenario to an entire class (see Tom
Snyder interactive group software). Each student in a cooperative
team is assigned a role and a different reading, then back together,
teams share and compile their data to collectively develop a solution
to the situation posed. Multimedia scenarios can be developed with authoring
software. To include audio and video in a scenario, additional audio
and video editing programs may prove beneficial to know.
and Dubois (see reference) recommend the use of authoring programs for
cooperative learning, engaging students in team research then constructionist
design tasks (see constructionism model). Each student may research
a small portion of a larger issue, then construct a resource with teammates
to teach others about their topic. Design or project tasks may be facilitated
with several software programs including authoring programs or web site
Web course tools such as Blackboard and WebCT may facilitate cooperation, as they allow students to communicate asynchronously with e-mail and bulletin board tools, or synchronously with chat rooms. Further, they provide digital drop boxes where project files may be exchanged during development or constructionist activities.