How can cooperative learning benefit you and your group?
Cooperative Learning helps to:
- Raise achievement of students.
- Build positive relationships among students - important for creating a learning community that values diversity.
- Provide experiences that develop both good learning skills and social skills.
Research shows cooperative learning helps to produce:
- Higher achievement.
- Increased retention.
- More positive relationships and a wider circle of friends.
- Greater intrinsic motivation.
- Higher self-esteem.
- Greater social support.
- More on-task behavior.
- Better attitudes toward teachers.
- Better attitudes toward school.
Hopefully you have already had some successful experiences with cooperative learning and you can relate to many of the benefits listed above. If you haven't had any experiences with team or group work, or if you have only had bad experiences, don't worry! Becoming skilled in cooperative learning takes time, patience, and persistence. The more you learn about cooperative learning and the more you practice your skills, the better you will become and the more benefits you will experience. It takes time.
Additional Benefits of Cooperative Learning
Here are some additional benefits of cooperative learning.
- When students are working toward a common goal, academic work becomes an activity valued by peers.
- Students are motivated to help one another learn.
- Students are able to translate the teacher's language into "student language" for one another.
- Students who explain to one another strengthen their own learning.
- When students need to organize their thoughts in order to explain them to teammates, they must engage in thinking that builds on other ideas (cognitive elaboration) which greatly enhances their own understanding.
- Teammates can provide individual attention and assistance to one another.
- Regular and constructive collaborative study groups can assist you with mastery of material, exam preparation, and better performance on tests.