The Effectiveness of Cooperative Learning with Trainee Teachers

May. 10, 2009

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 161 - 168 (May 2009).

A plethora of research studies has found cooperative learning to be effective in promoting academic achievement with students of all ages. It has been suggested that key elements of cooperative learning are individual accountability and positive interdependence. 44 final-year teacher trainees participated in a study which compared the effectiveness of a two-hour workshop on cooperative learning with and without these two key elements. A multi-choice test focusing on what students had learned and a post-workshop questionnaire focusing on the students' experiences of and attitudes towards cooperative learning were used to evaluate the impact of the workshop.
Results indicate that academic learning was greater in the experimental group, in which individual accountability and positive interdependence were structured into the activity. They also indicate that the inclusion of these two elements did not significantly affect students' experiences of the workshop or their attitudes towards cooperative learning. These findings support the suggestion that to achieve optimum effectiveness, individual accountability and positive interdependence should be built into cooperative learning activities.

Updated: Jun. 02, 2009