What Is Cooperative Learning? How Does Cooperative Learning Work?
Charles Darwin said, “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate…
April 19, 2021 | 4 mins read
Charles Darwin said, “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”
Although his study is rooted in the theory of natural selection, it’s no surprise that collaboration and improvisation are highly significant in a modern workplace.
When you have to work in teams, not only do you have to be good at taking initiative but also in engaging with others. In a team, tasks are interdependent, that is, each and every member contributes to a project. The most important thing here is to learn how to cooperate with your team members. A strategy like cooperative learning can help you be more productive, efficient and agile in a team.
Read on to discover what is cooperative learning, its importance and how it works.
A cooperative learning method is one where individual members of a group are asked to learn new concepts and teach others. This way groups are able to enrich their learning experience and build their knowledge. For instance, your manager may give your team a case study to find solutions to a problem. Each team member is assigned an individual task, which they have to work out among themselves. This way you learn to lean on others, understand different perspectives and find unexpected answers.
Now that we have understood what is cooperative learning, let’s look at why organizations need it. Organizations are built on employee relationships, communication and engagement. Nothing will get done if you don’t get along with your colleague. If your manager doesn’t delegate work, you’ll never know what you should be doing. Cooperative learning helps organizations build teamwork and encourage collaboration. It helps bring everyone on the same page and, at the same time, become closer as a group.
Considering the speed at which things change today, it’s important to acquire and assimilate new information. If you and your team can learn new skills and abilities, you’ll likely achieve your goals more efficiently. This can include on-the-job training or learning and development efforts.
The concept of cooperative learning is widely popular among teachers. But it’s equally relevant in a professional setting as it helps with team building.
It’s common to have conflicts with your teammates. It may be when someone forgets to do their share of the work, making everyone else miss the deadline. You may not get along with a teammate because of their work ethic. There are several instances where you have to work with people you don’t particularly like or understand. Cooperative learning helps you minimize disputes by approaching a problem objectively. You learn to cooperate with others and meet them halfway.
As your team becomes more productive, you’ll learn how to share and exchange winning ideas. Cooperative learning gives rise to creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. You can bounce ideas off each other, build on others’ ideas or even come up with new ones to get the ball rolling.
Learning together with your teammates helps you become more accepting of their differences and work styles. You’ll get along with them better, understand where they’re coming from and help them in their time of need. Encouraging each other to learn and grow helps you build rapport.
You’re able to build your technical and foundational skills. You’ll become a better communicator, problem-solver and decision-maker. Learning in a group helps you identify where you’re lacking so you can improve. At the same time, you’ll recognize your strengths and help others.
A cooperative learning method is an efficient way for organizations to help employees upskill. If you can take the initiative to learn with your team, you’ll be able to achieve collective goals without setbacks. It even leads to a healthier work environment, building a culture of trust and support.
In the workplace, cooperative learning may be formal, informal or group-based.
Formal cooperative learning is when your team is assigned a project with clearly defined tasks and timelines.
Informal cooperative learning is best used for small projects dealing with routine tasks
Group-based cooperative learning can be cross-departmental group projects or other long-term tasks.
The type of cooperative learning you choose depends on what you need and how you can achieve your goals.
Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will teach you how to understand team dynamics. Some of the core concepts are navigating conflicts, identifying different work styles and establishing channels of communication. By the end of this course, you can build strong teams that don’t buckle under pressure and aren’t afraid of change with cooperative learning.
Explore topics such as the Process of Building a Team, What are Management Skills, Elements of Quality Management and Organizational Development from Harappa Diaries and understand how your workplace functions.