Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is a form of active learning that has its roots in the educational philosophy of constructivism. The constructivist approach posits that students learn by constructing their own understanding of material in relation to their own personal experiences; the instructor does not furnish meaning. Moreover, students create their understanding socially. In the process of discussion, students share different and sometimes conflicting understandings, motivating them to think about and reason through the differences.

There are three principal types of group learning. In cooperative learning classes, students work together interdependently to complete an activity that generates a social product. Typically, faculty structure and oversee this process, and research-based literature supplies guidelines on how best to do this. By contrast, in collaborative learning1, students work together on ...

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