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Cooperative Learning Essay

1378 words - 6 pages

Five Basic Elements in Cooperative Learning
Abstract
The term “cooperative learning” refers to an instruction method in which learners work together in small groups to achieve a common goal. There are more than five elements in cooperative learning but the most common and crucial ones are five which are individual accountability, positive interdependence, face-to-face promotive interaction, interpersonal and small group skills, and group processing. This report explains what these five elements are and how to implement these features in a cooperative learning group.

1.0 Introduction
21st century learning is often and always related to technological approaches while actually this type ...view middle of the document...

  The teacher decides which goal structure to implement within each lesson.  The most important goal structure, and the one that should be used the majority of the time in learning situations, is cooperation.
2.0 Cooperative Learning
Cooperative learning is a student-centered approach that regards the role of teacher as the facilitator within a small group of students and the students are responsible of their own learning as well as all group members. According to Johnson & Johnson (1989), cooperative learning is the instructional use of small groups so that students work together to maximize their own and each other’s learning.
2.1 Elements in Cooperative Learning
According to Johnson and Johnson (1989), there are five elements of cooperative learning. Though there are more than five, but the most basic elements or pillars of cooperative learning are: individual accountability, positive interdependence, face-to-face promotive interaction, interpersonal and small group skills, and group processing. These five elements are important in determining a successful cooperative learning classroom.
2.1.1 Individual Accountability
This element specifically meant that every member should make a significant contribution to the group. Hence, it is important to frequently stress and assess individual learning so that group members can appropriately support and help each other. As said by Johnson, Johnson and Holubec (1998), individual accountability is the measurement of whether or not each group member has achieved the groups’ goal. Some ways of structuring individual accountability are by giving each group member an individual accountability exam or by randomly selecting one member to give an answer for the entire group. Cooperative learning groups are not successful until every member has learned the material or has helped with and understood the assignment.  Johnson, Johnson and Holubec (1998), also said that individual accountability can be structured by assigning one student in the group to check for understanding. This can be done with one student as the checker poses questions and other members of the group provide rational answers in supporting group’s answer.

2.1.2 Positive Interdependence
Positive goal interdependence ensures that the group is united around a common goal, a concrete reason for being, such as “learning the assigned material and making sure that all other members of your group learn the assigned material” (Johnson, Johnson and Holubec, 1998). Every student in the particular group plays a crucial role in order to achieve their goal hence their effort is required and necessary for the group success. A specific goal, such as a grade or a certificate of recognition, is identified for the group to obtain. It is important to include reward interdependence especially in early days or young-aged group. Extrinsic rewards are replaced by intrinsic rewards as groups mature. These rewards are always earned for the team. Students...

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