Cooperative and Collaborative Learning

Quick Reference

Three Ways of Structuring Student-Student Interactoin, by Prof David W. Johnson

Effective Designs and Practices for Problem-Based Cooperative Learning, by Prof Karl A. Smith

CCL Related Stories

Cooperative and Collaborative Learning (CCL) essentially provide a structured way of sharing responsibilities for learning in groups. Typically, students work in pairs or small groups of three to four people in which they are expected to interact with each other, sharing ideas and resources, supporting and encouraging each other's learning through peer teaching and, most importantly, holding mutual accountability for achieving learning outcomes. Clicking on the 'Video' icon to the right opens up a video presentation by Professor David Johnson, from the University of Minnesota, introducing cooperative learning. In the video, heprovides background information and the rationale for cooperative learning; its fundamental characteristics and how it differs from simple group-based learning; expectations which it places on learners and teachers; and a staged approach for incorporating it into a course. If you are new to CCL, make this your first point of call.

Cooperative and Collaborative Learning - What's the Difference?

Cooperative and collaborative learning are perhaps best viewed as being at different ends of a continuum where the main differences between them are who has the authority over knowledge and the power over the learning processes; to put it another way, the degree of control given to the learners by the faculty member. In practical terms, the differences are seen in the answers to such questions as who structures activities, who designates roles, who provides knowledge input, who provides resources, who assesses and who decides what counts as knowledge.