Meaning and Definition of Cooperative Learning

It is an approach to organize classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences. It differs from group work and it has been described

Co-operative Learning

It is an approach to organize classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences. It differs from group work, and it has been described as "structuring positive interdependence". around small Cooperative Learning involves structuring classes groups that work together in such a way that each group member's success in dependent on the group's success.

Cooperative Learning

Team game tournament is an effective technique of cooperative learning wherein groups are created that function in the class for a period of time. In this technique the groups revise a portion of material before writing a written test. This motivates those students that have the fear of writing the test and to learn and reinforce what has been already learnt. This method is one of the learning strategies designed by Robert Slavin for the purpose of review and mastery in the learning.

This method was basically to increase student's skills, increase interaction and self-esteem between students. In this technique, the students study in the class. The material is supplied and are taught in groups or individually through different activities. The students after receiving the material review it and then bring 2-6 points from their study into their assigned groups. Since the tournament is based on a material there is a specific answer.

Definition of Cooperative Learning

1. It is a method of instruction that has students working together in groups, usually with the goal of completing a specific task.

2. In these instances, the gifted student is not likely to learn anything new, while the non-gifted students are not likely to develop any leadership skills.

Why Use Cooperative Learning

  1. Students who engage in cooperative learning learn significantly more, remember it longer, and develop better critical-thinking skills than their counterparts in traditional lecture classes.
  2. Students enjoy cooperative learning more than traditional lecture classes, so they are more likely to attend classes and finish the course.
  3. Cooperative learning helps students develop the skills necessary to work on projects too difficult and complex for any one person to do in a reasonable amount of time..
  4. Cooperative learning processes prepare students to assess outcomes linked to accreditation.

Types of Cooperative Teaching

1. Formal Cooperative Learning

According to Johnson, Johnson and Holbach, “Formal cooperative learning is that in which students work together for a period of a week to achieve a common learning goal and complete the assignment collaboratively.” The following tasks are required for the implementation of formal cooperative learning:

(1) Supervision of cooperation and learning among students:- The teacher pays special attention to the cooperation and interaction between students. Helps in attainment of work skills and assignments. Collects data on student interactions and uses them to guide processes.

(2) Formulation of pre-instructional instructions:- Under this, the teacher sets educational and social goals, decides the size of the group, selects the method of assigning tasks to the students for cooperative learning, decides the roles of the students in the group, Arranges proper room facilities, and makes available the necessary materials to the students to complete the assignments.

(3) Assessment and nurturing of students' learning:- The teacher concludes the lesson, makes qualitative and quantitative assessment of the results, motivates the students to discuss and pay attention to their ideas, helps the students to improve Helps to plan, inspires to celebrate the collective joy of success.

(4) Arrangement of cooperative work:- Teacher explains assignment to students, explains its success criteria, constructs positive self-reliance, constructs individual responsibility, explains relative social skillful behavior, competition Increases cooperation and explains the methods of doing assignments.

2. Informal Cooperative Learning

According to Johnson, Johnson and Halneck, “Informal cooperative learning is the method of working together in temporary small groups of students for a few minutes or a period of time together to achieve common objectives.”

This learning process can be used for a few minutes in the middle of a lecture, performance or film. Some specific tasks (such as written answers, reports, etc.) are its main aspects as an assignment and its product. The following steps are adopted for its implementation-

(1) Lesson-Centered Discussion:- At the end of the lesson, the teacher again asks the students to discuss in which the students explain their learning by summarizing the whole lesson and also explain the method of homework.

(2) Objective-Centered Discussion:- Students come to a consensus after discussing the purpose of the assignment that the teacher assigns.

(3) Intermediate discussion:- The teacher divides his lecture into parts of 10-15 minutes and in the middle of each part gives 2-3 minutes of discussion time to the students with the fellow sitting, so that the student Together, they discuss the answer to the given question in the assignment and create a unified synthetic answer.

Characteristics of Cooperative Learning

  1. Students are working in heterogeneous groups.
  2. Playing the games makes the students to move into homogeneous and higher level groups.
  3. Understanding other's skills.

Purpose of Cooperative Learning

The students compete in the tournament after a designated time to study by forming groups of 3-4 students where the stronger students compete with the weaker students and winner of the respective teams is moved to a high level team while the students who don't score well are moved to an easier level. This ensures that students of the same ability are competing with each other."

TGT enhances student cooperative and friendly competition which allows different students with different capabilities to work together and acquire mastery in the topics assigned to them. The students have the independence to have interactions with different students. The benefit of this activity is that it holds the students responsible for the material they have to prepare.

Basic Elements of Cooperative Learning

Johnson, F. According to Johnson not all groups are cooperative. For the development of full capacity to work in a group, it is necessary to have five basic elements while forming a cooperative group. These elements are as follows-

1. Promotive Interaction:- Group members encourage and appreciate each other's learning to interact with each other. This makes the group dynamic.

2. Group Processing:- When group members consider how effectively their objectives have been achieved, then a functional relationship is established in the group which gives motivation to act together, this is 'Group Processing'.

3. Positive Interdependence:- Students are committed to the success of the group along with themselves. Positive Interdependence is the soul and the most essential element for the success of cooperative learning.

4. Individual and Group Accountability:- Everyone should be responsible for their part work so that the group can be strengthened.

5. Group Skills:- Emphasis should be given on developing team spirit in the group.

According to Johnson and Johnson's meta-analysis, students in cooperative learning settings compared to those in individualistic or competitive learning settings, achieve more, reason better, gain higher self-esteem, like classmates and the learning tasks more and have more perceived social support.

Advantages of Cooperative Learning

  1. The involvement of students in higher learning.
  2. The students get excited about learning.
  3. Knowledge is obtained from the student rather than solely from the teacher.
  4. Fosters positive attitude in the students, such as cooperation, tolerance.
  5. Trains students to express or convey ideas.

Disadvantages of Cooperative Learning

  1. It is time consuming for new teachers.
  2. It Requires adequate facilities and infrastructure.
  3. It can create confusion in the classroom.
  4. It Does not translate to college environment where study is individualistic.
  5. It allows more voice to the dominant personality than individualistic study.
  6. It leaves out the slower student.
  7. It lowers the self esteem of the lower student by constantly being dominated.
  8. It creates a classroom of behaviour problems.
  9. It allows noise in the classroom making it difficult for concentration.
  10. It creates a negative environment for the achiever that may have a lowered grade because of the lack of group work.
  11. Our world already functions in groups such as the police force, the unions, etc. without teaching collective study.

Limitations of Cooperative Learning

  1. If the teacher is not trained, experienced and constantly aware, then the success of the method is not possible.
  2. Self-reliance in the group is not always necessary to have a positive effect.
  3. It is easy to form groups of students, but it is difficult to teach them cooperative behavior.
  4. Individual and competitive spirit prevails among the students which hinders cooperative learning.
  5. Building mutual understanding among students is a difficult task.

Suggestion for Cooperative Learning

Despite its limitations, it is a very successful method. The need is that the teacher should be trained and made aware of the five basic elements of cooperative learning. Only then he can keep it progressive and dynamic while maintaining interdependence in the group.

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