How To Integrate Cooperative Learning

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By John Wick

Cooperative learning is the best tool for beginners who sell courses online and want to create a functional and structured website. The first tool to attract students is showing them how the course would benefit them and what the learning outcome is. This is possible only through proper communication and engagement with students, which the previous few years lacked due to the pandemic.

An instructional approach must be designed, that not only forms a market strategy to sell online courses but is of useful value for the academic progress of students. Cooperative learning is one of the most popular instructional approaches students look for.

Once you overcome the challenge of understanding cooperative learning strategies you must be skilled enough to integrate them into a classroom. Here are some tips;

Short time frames

Online classrooms are difficult to sit through, looking at the screen for more than an hour could be overburdening for students. Especially younger students who are energetic. How else can you communicate with them to use cooperative learning strategies? By organizing classes in shorter time frames.

Start every class with 15 minutes, and increase this through their session. At the end of every session, you will have increased the attention span of every child by at least an hour. Because they begin with smaller segments, they don’t realize how long it has been once they learn to focus.

Another way of doing this would be to divide the same task into multiple segments throughout the day rather than sitting for hours straight. Taking breaks is also necessary is simulate conversations and communication.

Mixing skill levels

Students can engage and learn more from each other with cooperative learning strategies. To make the most of these engagement properties, inside and outside a classroom, you can try organizing groups of diversely skilled students who can benefit each other.

For example, not everyone can have the same reading abilities. Students who excel at reading can interact with a group that lacks fluency, speed, and accuracy in pronouncing words. Other students not good at reading might excel in another skill and learn to help others. It builds relationships and social values among children, and they develop a problem-solving approach to challenges. 

Small groups

A small group is more efficient than a larger one, which would mean the entire classroom. When students are instructed to do something together, they would keenly pick their friends from the entire class. Let them do it. It encourages them to have fun while learning something new. A group of five students is perfect for allowing sharing of skills and completing project activities successfully.

Incorporate goals and key questions

Teachers must initiate an alignment among students. Assign individual goals to every student according to their strengths and weaknesses, with a few major goals every child has to follow.

To achieve an 80 above-average class score could be a major general goal. Improving reading, writing, vocabulary, mathematics and different subject or soft skills are individual goals. 

A key question is a moral question students can ask themselves. For example;

  • What progress have I made since the beginning of this session?
  • What areas do I still lack?
  • What can I change in my routine to perform better?
  • What teaching methodologies can benefit me more?
  • How can I balance my academic and personal life?
  • Which temporary goal is the most important?
  • What are my permanent goals, and am I working for them?

Educators must teach their students to ask such Key questions to themselves often. Self-paced learning is integral for students at all levels.

Individual accountability

Just because students interact in a group does not mean they would be lazy enough to rely on others in the group. Holding them responsible for every input they make in a project is a great way of teaching individual accountability.

While students participate in cooperative learning activities, their mindfulness helps them engage and develop problem-solving, decision-making, and leadership skills. This needs initiation and encouragement from other team members, educators, parents, and other stakeholders of an educational system.

Group reflection

Reflecting as a team enables students to discuss what strategies worked for them and how they can modify their cooperative learning strategies. This is the last step in teaching students to develop strategies instead of relying on the teacher to incorporate them.