Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Helen Keller
Both cooperative and collaborative learning are based on the idea that it is through talk that learning occurs. When groups of learners work together to solve a problem, complete a task, create a product, or discuss a single problem with a partner, they are involved in cooperative learning.
Although collaborative and cooperative learning are often used synonymously, cooperative learning is actually a specific kind of collaborative learning in which students work together in small groups on a structured activity. That structure ensures that each person’s task is essential to the success of the group.
Cooperative Learning (CL) is more than just a method in which students help each other learn the same thing, or one in which some students do the lion’s share of the work. Through cooperative learning tasks teachers can personalize student learning while challenging each individual to work toward the success of the group.
|Assessment for Learning||Teachers have many opportunities to gather evidence of thinking and learning when students are working in collaborative groups. Teachers use this information to modify teaching and learning experiences while students are in the process of learning.|
This article by Johnson and Johnson offers more information about the basic elements of cooperative learning.
Jigsaw Cooperative Learning Technique is a strategy guide for grades 3-8 offered by the NCTE’s Read Write Think website.