Collaborative Learning vs Cooperative Learning: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Collaborative learning is an educational approach that emphasizes students working together to achieve shared learning goals.
  2. Cooperative learning is an instructional strategy focusing on small groups of students working together to achieve shared learning objectives.
  3. Collaborative learning is a broader concept that emphasizes students working together on a task or project, often with shared goals. In contrast, cooperative learning is a specific type of learning that involves structured group activities where students work together to achieve a common goal.

What is Collaborative Learning?

Collaborative learning is an educational approach that emphasizes students working together to achieve shared learning goals. Unlike traditional classroom settings where teachers impart knowledge to passive learners, collaborative learning promotes active student engagement and interaction. This approach recognizes the value of peer-to-peer learning, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and a deep understanding of the subject matter.

Students form groups or teams in a collaborative learning environment, each with unique responsibilities and tasks. These groups often work on projects, assignments, or discussions that require collective effort. It nurtures social skills and the ability to cooperate effectively with others. Students learn to communicate, negotiate, and share ideas, which are crucial life skills.

Moreover, collaborative learning enhances the learning experience by providing diverse perspectives on a given topic.

What is Cooperative Learning?

Cooperative learning is an instructional strategy focusing on small groups of students working together to achieve shared learning objectives. Cooperative learning promotes a sense of shared responsibility and mutual support among students.

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Students collaborate on tasks, projects or assignments in a cooperative learning setting. They rely on one another’s strengths and contributions to complete the task successfully. This approach goes beyond mere group work as it emphasizes positive independence, where students understand that their success is tied to the success of their peers. This creates a supportive learning community where students help and encourage each other.

One of the critical benefits of cooperative learning is its ability to cater to diverse learning styles and abilities. It provides essential life skills such as communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution. Students learn to articulate their thoughts, listen to others, and constructively resolve disagreements.

Difference Between Collaborative Learning and Cooperative Learning

  1. Collaborative learning is a broader concept that emphasizes students working together on a task or project, often with shared goals. In contrast, cooperative learning is a specific type of learning that involves structured group activities where students work together to achieve a common goal.
  2. By promoting peer interactions, collaborative learning primarily enhances interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving. In contrast, cooperative learning is mainly goal-oriented, focusing on achieving specific learning outcomes through group efforts.
  3. In collaborative learning, communication is often informal, emphasizing open dialogue and sharing of ideas. In contrast, in cooperative learning, communication is structured and focused on achieving specific objectives, often guided by established protocols.
  4. In collaborative learning, groups can be of various sizes. They can even involve the entire class, promoting inclusivity, while cooperative learning groups are smaller to ensure effective participation and accountability.
  5. Collaborative learning promotes active listening, conflict resolution, and exploration of diverse perspectives. In contrast, cooperative learning promotes leadership, teamwork, and adherence to established rules and procedures.

Comparison Between Collaborative Learning and Cooperative Learning

ParametersCollaborative LearningCooperative Learning
DefinitionA broader concept emphasizing students working togetherSpecific type of learning that involves structured group activities
FocusEnhancing interpersonal skills, critical thinking and problem-solvingGoal-oriented and focused on achieving specific learning outcomes
CommunicationInformalStructured and focused
Group sizeVarious sizesSmaller group size
SkillsActive listening, conflict resolution and exploration of diverse perspectivesLeadership, teamwork, and adherence to rules and procedures
References
  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1997.tb05510.x
  2. https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/collaborative-cooperative-learning/11773
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