Skills Needed for Cooperative Learning
Forming skills: The basic skills needed for a functioning, cooperative learning
group (taking turns, using quiet voices, etc.)
skills: The skills needed to rethink yje material being syudied,
manage cognitive conflict, search for more information, and communicate
the rationlae behind one's conclusion (Johnson, Johnson and Holubec,
skills help organize the group and establish minimum norms for
appropriate behaviors. The most important rules of this category are
noise monitor, participation monitor, voice monitor, and turn-taking
monitor. The noise monitor ensures that classmates move into cooperative
learning groups quietly. The task of ensuring that group members stay in
the group and participate in the group’s work falls to the
participation monitor. The voice monitor is needed to remind group
members to use quiet voices. The turn-taking monitor ensures that each
student has a part in the group effort and assignment.
skills help the group manage their efforts and maintain working
relationships. To accomplish this goal, students need to share ideas and
opinions; ask for facts and reasoning that will ease their interaction
and thus their understanding of each other’s work; give direction to
the group work to help the group move ahead (“We are supposed to…”
or “Why don’t we try this in the time we have left?”); encourage
everyone to participate (“Michelle, what is your opinion about
this?”); ask for help or clarification (“I don’t think I
understand. Can you explain again what you mean?”); express support
and acceptance, offer to explain and clarify (“Would you like me to
explain this again?”); paraphrase (“So you are saying that…”);
energize the group (“Come on, let’s get things moving!”); and
Formulating skills maximize students’ learning. They stimulate the use
of higher reasoning strategies and enhance mastery and retention. Some
of these skills are summarizing out loud from memory; seeking accuracy
by correcting a member’s summary (“I am not sure this is correct..
We should check…”); seeking elaboration by relating the material
being learned to earlier learned material and to previous knowledge
(“How does this relate to…”); helping the group remember (“We
should use colors for this table…”); checking for understanding by
demanding verbalization, and asking the others to plan out loud (“Here
is how I would teach this material…”).
Fermenting skills are those close number necessary for becominginvolved in academic controversies such as: criticizing ideas without criticizing people (“I respect you, but in this case I
don't agree with your approach.”); differentiating between ideas and reasoning of group members (“How
we differ in regard to our information and conclusions?”); integrating ideas into single positions (“Would this
conclusion summarize everyone’s ideas?”); asking for justification (“Can you explain your
answer?”); extending answers (“I have something else I know about this and I want to share with
you…”); probing by asking in-depth questions (“Would it work in a different
situations?”); generating further answers (“Can we consider another
possibility?”); and testing reality by checking the group's work.
D., Johnson, R.& Holubec, E. (1998). Cooperation in the classroom.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon.