Article 5: Collaborative, Cooperative and Group Spaces

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Collaborative and cooperative learning is becoming increasingly recognised in education. Not only are students encouraged to work together, but teachers as well. The most valuable information I gained from the reading and YouTube video, which I can relate to really well is that any type of group work can only work if it is implemented correctly. To be successful, there must be a clear group goal that has been set by the group and that they can work towards, and each person needs to have individual accountability (Slavin, 2010). This means that all members of the team are aware of their role and can be help accountable for their contribution towards the goal (Slavin, 2010). Cooperative and collaborative learning are similar in that teachers’ act as facilitators in the learning process, they rely on active student participation and they enhance deeper cognitive skills. Collaborative learning entails a set structure where every member of the team has a set role that they are accountable for (eg. Note taker, researcher, team leader). Cooperative learning involves students working together to help each other complete a given task, it encourages educational conversations between the students (Slavin, 2010).

Another thing that is changing for the better in schools is the way learning spaces are designed. Open plan classrooms are being introduced into many schools around the country. These spaces allow for multiple classes to work together, encouraging collaborative and cooperative learning. As stated by Biddick (2014), a well done open plan learning space will “reflect the vision for learning and supports a range of pedagogical activities”.


Biddick. (2014). Working in open plan learning spaces. Teacher Learning Network Newsletter.

Does ‘Group Work’ Work? : Is It the Best Way for Children to Learn? [Video file]. (2010, February 18). Retrieved from 

Slavin, R. E. (2010). Co-operative learning: what makes group-work work? Educational Research and Innovation, 161-178. doi:10.1787/9789264086487-9-en

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