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


Steven Yamarik used a multivariate regression analysis in order to demonstrate that cooperative learning led to students achieving higher test scores.

File:Does Cooperative Learning Improve Student Learning Outcomes?.pdf

Uri Treisman, a professor of calculus at the University of California, Berkley conducted a study comparing the difference in achievement between Chinese students, a group which typically performed well in calculus courses, and African American students, a group which typically underperformed in calculus courses. After observing the study habits of both groups, Treisman discovered that African American students typically worked alone for assignments where areas Chinese students regularly worked in groups for assignments. Once Treisman established study groups for the African American students their performance significantly improved. To see the study Click Here



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).

McGoldrick, KimMarie. "Where Do I Begin? Using Think-Pair-Share to Initiate the Problem Solving Process." SERC. Natural Science Foundation. Web. 16 June 2011. <>.

Studying Students Studying Calculus: A Look at the Lives of Minority Mathematics Students in College Uri Treisman The College Mathematics Journal Vol. 23, No. 5 (Nov., 1992), pp. 362-372 (article consists of 11 pages) Published by: Mathematical Association of America Stable URL:

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: