Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning

  • Anagha Vallikat
    Anagha Vallikat

Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, โ€œLive as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.โ€ Learning is a continuous process, and cooperative learning is an innovative way of making a student easily understand a particular concept. Co-operative Learning is teaching through various class activities. This theory of learning was propounded by John Dewey. Students tend to work in groups to perform and complete a particular task. The instructor must painstakingly choose the groups. The success of all members in a group depends on each other. This teaching method helps teach the importance of teamwork in the students as well. Co-operative learning gives significance to cooperation as against our present instructive framework, which depends on the contest. Cooperation rather than rivalry is the dominating attribute of people. Individuals are reinforced together by affection and cooperation. It is this quality on which the endurance of humanity is based.

Types of Cooperative Learning

Formal Learning

Under this learning system, the conventional group relegates tasks and activities. Likewise, they stay together until the task finishes and, it is a structured group. Furthermore, the educator chooses the group. Contingent upon the tasks, the group can be both heterogeneous and homogeneous. Under this group, not all members are equally productive. The group's performance doesnโ€™t depend on the performance of all group members. Examples of formal learning:-

  • Assignments that involve problem-solving and decision making
  • Laboratory or experiment assignments

Informal Learning

Informal learning is just the opposite of formal learning. It is a temporary group and consists of 2-3 members. They are basically involved in doing small and less time-consuming activities. They are reasonably utilized for fast exercises like quick critical thinking or audit, and so forth.

Cooperative Learning

It is a group-based learning model. A group has existed for a long time to create and add to each other's information dominance on a subject by routinely examining material, empowering each other, and supporting the scholar and individual achievement. It is one of the most successful teaching and learning methods of all.

Elements of Co-operative Learning

The elements of co-operative learning can be broadly classified into six types:-

  • Positive Interdependence

It implies that they have clear objectives or targets. Likewise, their work helps them and the other members of the group. This means all members have to participate in all tasks. They all are responsible for the successful completion of the task as well.

  • Individual and group accountability

To complete the task, all members are expected to work equally. The group as a whole will be accountable for their actions. Nobody can duplicate or take someone else to work. Everybody's performance will be examined. Furthermore, its outcomes will be provided to the group.

  • Interpersonal and social skills

Interpersonal skills ad social skills play a crucial role in Cooperative Learning. Interpersonal skills such as leadership skills, decision-making skills, trust-building skills, and communication and conflict management skills are critical for Cooperative Learning.

  • Face to face interaction

This implies that understudies share each other accomplishments and appreciate them. Additionally, to learn they help, give certainty, support, and respect each other's work. They interact with each other and assist each other in completing the assignments, promoting team spirit.

  • Group processing

Group processing simply means when the group members togetherly introspect their activities and figure out which activity needs improvement. The motivation behind group processing is to explain and work on the viability with which individuals complete the task and which is important to accomplish the group's objectives. It is the most important feature of co-operative learning, without which co-operative learning cannot be completed.

The points mentioned above are some of the distinguishing features of cooperative learning that act as a bridge between learning and teaching.

Advantages of Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning comes with lots of merits and, some of the advantages are mentioned below:-

  • It is a well-known evident fact that cooperative learning amped students to learn and helps them cope with the traditional way of learning.
  • Information and knowledge are acquired from the group members rather than exclusively from the educator.
  • It cultivates an uplifting outlook in the understudies, like participation resistance.
  • It increases and boosts self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • It increases the level of reasoning and development creative thinking ability.
  • This method is helpful for students to comprehend tough and complex subjects easily. It aids in both individual and social learning.

Disadvantages of Cooperative Learning

Cooperative Learning has both merits and demerits. Some of the disadvantages of cooperative learning are mentioned below:-

  • It is a lengthy and time-consuming method of learning.
  • It is tedious for new educators.
  • Co-operative learning is all about teamwork. But all individuals are not the same. It appears to be that while working in a group, somebody is either dialed back or compelled to make up for lost time quicker than they might want to to keep pace with the other members.
  • It is also possible that all the members may not be the same and hard working. As a result, hard-working students have to do most of the work and, lazy ones get everything without working.


Cooperative Learning is a very effective mode of learning and teaching. But the teacher should be meticulous in making groups. The group should contain only 3 - 4 individuals with different abilities. So that the interaction can take place easily. The main purpose of co-operative learning is to make all the members of the groups confident and future-ready to handle all times of problems effortlessly.