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Homepage Blog Organizational teaching forms Organizational forms of teaching – Cooperative learning

Organizational forms of teaching – Cooperative learning

Organizational forms of teaching – Cooperative learning
22. 3. 2021
Organizational teaching forms

In this miniseries, we will compare organizational forms of teaching one by one. Whether it is individual, individualized, collective, or group teaching, each has its pros and cons, advantages, and disadvantages. In previous articles, we have looked at these forms of learning in more detail. Each of them is specific, and each is unique in its own way. In this article, we will deal with cooperative learning. In the following lines, we will discuss it in more detail and offer you the opportunity to learn more about it.

Why use cooperative learning?

We will be happy to explain the concept again for readers who have never heard the term organizational forms of teaching before.

Organizational forms of learning are a set of ways of how and with whom a teacher works and where teaching takes place. So, if we are looking at, for example, group learning, where pupils work on a task to reinforce what they have learn, this is group learning. However, if the teacher focuses more on collaboration and acquiring new knowledge, it is a cooperative form of learning.

Group versus cooperative learning

We have already discussed group learning in a previous article, in which we compared it with collective learning. However, since it is similar to cooperative learning, we will mention it now.

When we hear the name group learning, we think of the groups of students that characterize this form of learning. The teacher gives the students a task, and they then work in groups to complete it. It is primarily the use of the group as an organizational form that is common to the group and cooperative learning.

Cooperative learning ideas

Group learning is widespread in education, but it has certain shortcomings and disadvantages. Compared to this approach, cooperative learning tries to eliminate these shortcomings. It uses the relationships and cooperation of students to make everyone's learning more effective. Cooperative learning is not the same as group learning.

Co-operative learning promotes students' performance (improving memory), better reasoning, deduction, etc., vocabulary and fluency, communication with others, and choice of strategy in dealing with difficult situations. In the beginning, it is the teacher who guides the pupils in learning to succeed. The pupils then learn and improve themselves in groups so that they can successfully solve the task on their own at the end of the process. Therefore, cooperative learning must be used by the teacher in a way that pupils benefit more from it than from working alone.

Types of cooperative learning:

For cooperative learning to work, several basic features should be observed.

  1. Face-to-face work – the class is divided into several groups which are "mixed" of more and less gifted pupils, boys and girls, etc.
  2. Bond between pupils – pupils learn together. An individual is only successful if the group succeeds. Conversely, a group is only successful if the individual succeeds. Thus, if one member of the group “gives up” on the work, the group has no chance to succeed.

There are several ways to help students work together. These include:

  • Common goal – For the group to succeed, everyone must contribute with several ideas. The team goal is for everyone in the group to understand the material. Everyone in the group will be involved in some way in creating the work.
  • Reward – If everyone in the group participates in the assignment, the group will achieve some reward (extra points on a test, free time, less homework, etc.).
  • Single resource – Students are given only one worksheet, one book, or one resource per group to share
  • Work roles – Each pupil will be given a specific role in the task; for example, one pupil reads the text while the other writes down the answers, or one cuts, one glues, etc.
  1. Individual responsibility – Each pupil should have a place in the group, and development should take place through collaboration. All members of the group should benefit from learning from each other.
  2. Pupil cooperation – Learning thrives when pupils can work together in groups
  3. Reflection on group activity – The success of the group also depends on group members being able to agree on elements of the task, for example, what to keep and what to change in the presentation
Opportunities for collaboration

There may be several possibilities for collaboration between students. Below we present a few of them:

Ask your partner – Pupils ask their partners for help, e.g. to solve a task or explain a concept.

Think and share – Pupils think individually about the answer to a question, followed by a discussion where they defend their opinion.

Group reading – Groups of three read texts together and answer questions relating to it. One pupil reads the text, the other answers the questions, and the third checks the answers. At the end of the activity, everyone signs the worksheet and confirms that they agree with the answers.

Checkers – Pupils are divided into pairs, each of them completing the task. Pupils in the group check each other’s answers.

Problem solvers – Pupils in groups are assigned a problem to which they find a solution. They can decide on this solution together, but each must be able to explain the process they used to solve the problem.

Group report – Pupils research a topic together, each being responsible for one source and writing several pieces of information. The students write the report together, but each is responsible for the information contributed. All pupils are involved in the oral report and help each other.

Is cooperative learning effective?

If we summarize cooperative learning, unlike group learning, it involves necessary cooperation and interaction between group members. These groups are usually small, and it is this fact that allows the pupils to consolidate their knowledge in the best possible way.

When organizing cooperative learning, it is important to:

set students goals, not only factual - i.e. understanding, but also social - the ability to ask the other for help,

form groups that are diverse so that students can motivate each other,

choose the right task to be presented to the students,

monitor the groups' activities and intervene only if no one in the group can find the solution,

use different ways of assessment, not only teacher assessment but also peer assessment or student self-assessment.

Finally, we would like to stress that every pupil or student needs motivation in their learning. This does not only have to be a material reward but also a good feeling of having achieved something.

If the pupils or students do not understand some part of the topic, it is advisable to find individual tutoring not only to learn the topic in which they are lacking but, above all, to become more self-confident and be sure that their solution is correct. How online tutoring works?

School Populo can also help you in your search for individual tutoring. If a student does not understand some topic, it is advisable to explain it as quickly as possible so that they can keep up with the class and not get unnecessarily lost.

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