Co-op Co-op evolved over a period of 10 years. It originated as a way of increasing the involvement of university students in traditional psychology courses by allowing them to explore in depth topics in which they were particularly interested. The use of topic teams (groups of students who cover closely interrelated topics and who develop a coordinated presentation to the whole class) evolved not out of a philosophical commitment to cooperative learning but as a practical solution to the problem of how to fit student presentations into the time usually allotted for a university course. As soon as the use of teams was introduced, however, it was immediately apparent that the teams were far more than a time-saving, practical solution. The teams increased student learning tremendously (as measured by the quality of individual papers), probably because they allowed student communication on topics of mutual interest; the sharing of references, resources, and ideas; and increased involvement in and investment in learning. For many students, knowing that they would share what they learned with other students appeared to be a far more powerful motivational device than the traditional letter grade.
KeywordsTeam Member Student Teacher Cooperative Learning Team Experience Team Effort
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