Cooperative Learning is a relationship in a group of students that requires
- positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together),
- individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn),
- interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution),
- face-to-face promotive interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better).
In Cooperative Learning students work together to discover and learn. This is a key to working with Lego Robotics. You can lecture all day, but the student will only be successful when the manipulate the robot themselves, sometimes failing but always learning from what they have done. In Lego Robotics, students are not learning fact, but instead are learning thinking processes, habits of the mind, and teamwork. You cannot teach these by lecture. You must model and coach the process, helping students identify what works and what needs to change.
Your lessons should follow this pattern:
- Explain: Give a description of what skill they will be learning, associating it with current knowledge.
- Demonstrate: Show how the procedure or process works by demonstration.
- Practice: Give the students time to practice the procedure or process.
- Peer Coaching: Have the students coach each other. (See Peer Coaching for more details.)
Additional Cooperative Learning information is available at the sites listed below: