Providing students with opportunities for cooperative learning can really enhance their experience in the classroom. They are able to understand their unique learning needs and similar or diverse needs of their peers. Not only is it an academic practice, but provides social experiences at the same time. Displaying concern for every student’s learning and building a community of support within the classroom walls can do so much for their overall learning and even instill pride in their work and the successes of others. Students learn to trust one another and develop interdependence and an understanding that everyone has a stake in achieving these short or long term goals. Recommendations for cooperative learning experiences in the classroom include using a variety of criteria to group students, use informal, formal, and base groups, keep groups to a manageable size, and combine cooperative learning with other classroom structures (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007). The lessons should also include motivational context, learner activities, appropriate rules for interaction with others, and a well-structured knowledge base (Millis, 2006).
Millis, B. (2006, April). Using new technologies to support cooperative learning, collaborative services, and unique resources. Retrieved from http://www.tltgroup.org/resources/rmillis3.html
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.