Cooperative learning

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Cooperative learning is an educational approach that promotes students working in small groups in order to collectively learn.

Examples of Cooperative Learning

Steven Yamarik, a associate professor of economics at California State University at Long Beach, conducted a trial study demonstrating that cooperative learning exercises resulted in students achieving higher test scores. In order to incorporate cooperative learning in his intermediate macroeconomics course Yamarick first established groups of three to four students which he called "base groups." These students remained in the same "base group" for the entire course. Then, Yamarick had students work with one another both inside as well as outside of the classroom. Finally, rather than use a teaching assistant, Yamarick personally facilitated the group cooperative learning exercises and assessed the results. The academic work which the students were assigned included handouts as well as additional readings. In class, groups typically reviewed the questions in a given handout, came to a group consensus concerning answers, and presented one solution to the class.

How to Incorporate Cooperative Learning

For the small classroom


For the large classroom

Cooperative learning groups




Yamarik, S.. (2007). Does Cooperative Learning Improve Student Learning Outcomes? Journal of Economic Education, 38(3), 259-265,268-269,273,275-277. Retrieved June 16, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 1362844731).

Innovation in Large Lectures: Teaching for Active Learning Diane Ebert-May, Carol Brewer and Sylvester Allred BioScience Vol. 47, No. 9 (Oct., 1997), pp. 601-607 (article consists of 7 pages) Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences Stable URL: