Working in cooperate groups has various benefits to the student. The type of learning changes the student’s opinion about the learning process. The student sees learning as an individual memory of facts and views the process as making of ideas. The process encourages the student to discuss and explore his or her understanding of the relevant issues. According to Gillies (2007), cooperative learning makes a student get a deep understanding of the class content. Cooperative learning is best for great problem-solving work and projects that involve combination of ideas (Gillies, 2007). The method is also critical when a single person is required to manipulate the learning equipment, and experiments are to be done. The method of learning helps the learners to be associated with many tasks that help the learner to build problem-solving skills and enhance his communication skills. The method makes the student develop a positive social and decision-making skills and management leadership skills. With the skills, the learner can produce better grades and excellent academic achievement. The attributes have made cooperative learning to be spread in globally (Gillies, 2007).
How cooperative groups are established
In any informal class or groups, cooperative learning is very critical and form ad hoc in the class. It is needful for the class instructor to form cooperative groups that are mixed about the class skills and the student’s abilities. For instance, the groups may be rich with different skills like organizational and writing skills. Group size of approximately two to six members is recommended. As noted by Gillies (2007), the best cooperative group size that produces the best result is made of three students. It is imperative to assign each group member with a role so as to avoid dominance by one member. Dominance by one member can cause conflict among the members. The assignment of the roles is not necessary if the members are well-functioning members but can be done if the cooperative members are not skilled and unfamiliar with the group roles and tasks (Gillies, 2007).
Connection between group tasks and how the learners interact
It is critical to identify ideas the groups may not identify and what you to the teacher expects them to come up with. It is also imperative to identify the link between the cooperative group discussions and the relation with the topic of discussion. The inaccurate responses and all the misconceptions are to be clarified and changed by the instructor. The learners interact through discussion and each member is given the opportunity to present the ideas (Gillies, 2007).
Common pedagogical practices of an effective teacher
The instructor is the center of the cooperative learning. As the pivot of the process, the teacher is tasked with defining the learning objectives for the cooperative learning activities as he assigns the learners in their respective groups. The teacher assigns specific roles to each team member and communicates the procedure for success and the various elements that are required. As the teacher, it is inherent to play the active role as the cooperative learning continues. The teacher constantly monitors the work and evaluates the learner’s progress my term of individual and group output. In the end, the instructor encourages the learners to have a reflection of the interaction process and note the areas to improve for future group cooperation (Gillies, 2007).
The impact of mandatory testing and the relationship with cooperative learning
The team-based learning has two approaches. The initial process is the learners taking the mandatory test and the learners later take the similar test in groups. The grade of the student’s performance is taken as the composite of the scores. The students then complete the cooperative group project and get the resulting outcome of the group work. The comparison is made on the compulsory test and the group cooperation. It is noted that the performance of the students, when they carry out the task alone, is low compared to the result obtained from the group work (Gillies, 2007).
- Gillies, R. M. (2007). Cooperative Learning: Integrating Theory and Practice: Integrating Theory and Practice. New York: Sage Publications.