Cooperative Learning with Technology Integration
Elizabeth Stavis
What is Cooperative Learning?
Cooperative learning is the “principles and techniques for helping students work more effectively” (Jacobs, Power, & Inn, 2002). According to Kagan (2009), cooperative learning is different from the traditional classrooms is the addition of student-to-student interaction as an integral part of the learning process. The goal of the student-to-student interaction is cooperation (Kagan, 2009).
What are the Benefits of Cooperative Learning?
There are many benefits for students and student learning when cooperative learning strategies are used. Kagan (2009) cited that the experimental research on cooperative learning shows that cooperative learning had a positive effect on the classroom environment, students’ self-esteem, ability to empathize with other, role-taking abilities, attendance, increased time on task, improved the acceptance of special education students who are in the inclusion classroom, and enjoyment during school and while learning. Furthermore, cooperative learning has been empirically proven to benefit students with disabilities as well as students without disabilities. Stevens and Slavin (1995) set up a study to determine the effects of cooperative learning on students with disabilities. Their study found that students with disabilities who were in an inclusion classroom that utilized cooperative learning strategies had significantly higher achievement in vocabulary, comprehension, and language expression when compared to special education students who were taught in a traditional setting. Cooperative Learning is a strategy that can benefit all students.

How to Improve Student Motivation with Technology
Technology can be used to improve student motivation and engagement. Avery, Wu, and Passerini (2010) found that computer-supported team-based learning increased student motivation, student enjoyment. The researchers concluded that students who had higher motivation and enjoyment during the learning tasks had higher-level learning outcomes. When technology is integrated into cooperative learning strategies effective, students’ gains increase (Avery, Wu, and Passerini, 2010). In their study, Warwick, Mercer, Kershner, and Kleine (2010) research the effects of using an interactive whiteboard (IWB) during collaborative group activities. In the study, the students completed a cooperative learning activity at the IWB. The study found that the students were successful in recalling information when cooperative learning and the IWB were used (Warwick, Mercer, Kershner, and Kleine, 2010). Technology can be easily integrated into cooperative learning activities, and can increase student performance and success.

Four Basic Principles of Cooperative Learning
There are four basic principles of cooperative learning (Kagan, 2009). The acronym PIES can be used to help remember the fundamental principles of cooperative learning
P.ositive Interdependence:
· Positive Interdependence refers to the idea that the success of one student is positively correlated with the success of another student. The benefit for students is to shift the peer norms are focused on achievement and community. Students learn to support one another, working towards one goal (Kagan, 2009).
I.ndividual Accountability:
· In order to produce gains in student achievement when using cooperative learning strategies, students must be held responsible for their individual contributions and learning (Kagan, 2009). No one student can “pull” the group, or “bring the group down.” Students learn to work together equally on a common task or goal.
E.qual Participation
· When students are equally participating, they are engaged in the learning process. Having students participate equally is allowing for all students to be reached, including the students with special needs, the cultural and language minority students, and the low achieving students. When the concept of equal participation is used, students may not longer participate on a voluntary basis. Equal participation in connected to individual accountability in that every student in personally responsible for their level of participation (Kagan, 2009).
S.imultaneous Interaction
· During cooperative learning activities, students are participating simultaneously with other students. This is different than the traditional classroom where students take turns participating. The benefit of having students interacting with one another and participating simultaneously is having students actively engaged in the learning process, participating equally, and having an individual accountability for their level of participation (Kagan, 2009).
Cooperative Learning Activities:
There are many cooperative learning activities available that can be used for various grade levels, student ability levels, interests, and content. Cooperative learning can be used for classbuilding, teambuilding, learning content, and assessment (Jacobs, Power, & Inn, 2002). Some classbuilding activities include Find Someone Who and Two Facts, One Fiction. Some teambuilding activities include Team Mascots, Circle of Interviewers, Forward Snowball, Reverse Snowball, and Hoola Hoops. For learning content, some cooperative learning techniques include Jigsaw, Jigsaw II, Student Teams Achievement Divisions (STAD), Think-Pair-Share, Write-Pair-Share, Circle of Writers/Speakers, Before and After, Focused Discussion Pairs, Ask Your Neighbor, Review Pairs, Numbered Heads Together, Traveling Heads Together, Carousel, Talking Chips, Web of Talk, Group Mind Mapping, Draw-Pair-Switch, SUMMER, Tell/Spin Off, Group Investigation, and Paired Writing (Jacobs, Power & Inn, 2002). Cooperative learning offers ways to have students work together in heterogeneous groups for a variety of purposes.
Jigsaw Procedure:
The jigsaw procedure is an example of a cooperative learning strategy. According to Aronson, Blaney, Stephan, Sikes, & Snapp, the jigsaw method is a cooperative learning strategy that “fosters learner activity, joint acquisition of content and mutual explaining” (as cited in Souvignier & Kronenberger, 2007, p. 755). Jacobs, Power, and Inn (2002) provide four steps to follow when using the jigsaw cooperative learning technique.
Step 1: Students are placed into
home teams. Each member on the home team receives information on a different topic or information.
Step 2: Students leave their home teams to form
expert teams. The expert teams include all of the students from the other home teams who have the same topic or information. In their expert teams, the students review their topic or information and prepare to return to teach their home team on the same information or topic.
Step 3: Students return to their home teams. Each student takes turns teaching their information or topic with student questions and discussion in their home teams.
Step 4: The students are held individually accountable for their knowledge of all of the information presented in their home teams during step 3 by taking a quiz. Students are rewarded using nongrade rewards if their home team members do well on their individual quizzes or if they performed well on their task performance.
Jigsaw with Technology Integration
Huang, Huang, & Hsieh (2008) designed a study to investigate the benefits of students using technology to increase student performance. In the study, the students followed an adapted model of the jigsaw procedure to meet the needs of the learning task with technology integration. In their jigsaw method the students updated annotated files into a Learning Management System or LMS. For their jigsaw, the students had a topic assignment, individual study with a survey, question, reading, recite, and review, then an expert group meeting in which they created an electronic questionnaire for their original Jigsaw groups. Based on individual student performance on the questionnaire, students were given the appropriate level of annotations to meet their needs. Finally, the students at a jigsaw group meeting and group study session. The technology allowed the annotations to be modified to meet individual student needs. The materials were also available for review and located in a central location for students to reference (Huang, Huang, & Hsieh, 2008).

Benefits of Using Technology
There are many benefits to using technology in cooperative learning activities. Avery, Wu, and Passerini (2010) studied the effects of students working in a computer-supported team-based learning (CS-TBL). For group work, students met in both face-to-face and online team interactions. The study found that students were satisfied with their online learning experiences (Avery, Wu, and Passerini, 2010). Warwick, Mercer, Kershner, & Staarman (2010) also studied the usage of cooperative learning activities with technology integration. The student found that by using technology, it allowed the students to physically engage with the interactive white board screen and control their own pace of the task, and repetition of the task if needed. Using IWB activities, the students were able to create an environment that encouraged co-constructed knowledge building using a dialogic work space of the IWB. Technology can help a teacher to modify work for students as needed, meet individual student needs, and assess students’ knowledge and provide immediate feedback with electronic assessments, surveys, and questionnaires (Huang, Huang, & Hsieh, 2008).
Sample Lesson Plan
Strategy Match to Student Needs
Cooperative learning offers an array of activities and structures to meet a wide range of student needs including different learners, multiple intelligences, differentiated instruction, difficult students, unmotivated students, high achievers, gifted and talented students, and special education students. Cooperative learning has been shown effective in developing higher-level thinking skills (Kagan, 2009). When students work in heterogeneous groups, they are working with students with varying points of views. As students work together, they share their ideas and develop deeper understanding of issues by working with a diverse group of students. In cooperative learning, the teacher determines the heterogeneous groups. Cooperative learning lends itself to modification and differentiation since it utilizes grouping based on students’ ability levels. Through careful planning and organization, the when students complete partner or group work, the teacher can provide differentiated material to each group if necessary. For the gifted students, they benefit by explaining their process to others and by teaching their group members. Cooperative learning has a variety of structures and activities that teachers can choose ones that match the students’ unique learning styles and multiple intelligences. As students work on a variety of structures with their teammates and their successes are acknowledged and rewarded, the students’ self-esteem increases. Unmotivated and disengaged students learn to enjoy learning through interacting with their peers.
4 Ideas for Practical Application of Cooperative Learning with Technology Integration
1. Climate Setting and Group Formation: At the beginning of the school year, teachers can use various cooperative learning activities to help build a positive classroom climate and interpersonal relationships among the students. Examples include the ice breaker activity Find Someone Who. This activity encourages the initial interaction of students with their peers. It fosters relationships between students and initiates students communicating with one another. To integrate technology, the students could complete a pre-made page on an interactive whiteboard by signing their name either during the activity or after. A group member could be assigned as a reporter to record student names on the IWB during debriefing.

2. Accountability: During instruction, the teacher tends to pick on the same students due to differing levels of students motivation, knowledge, and behavior. This traditional way of alternating turns with calling on students leaves the majority of students disengaged during the learning process. To have individual student accountability, teachers can use the cooperative learning structure of Numbered Heads Together. For this activity, students work in groups of three or four students and are given a number. Within their groups, the students coach one another and prepare each other for reporting to the group. Randomly, a number is chosen to determine which group member will report. Success is achieved when each student in the group is prepared to report, whether they were randomly selected or not. To integrate technology, students can share their processes on an interactive whiteboard.

3. Knowledge and Comprehension: Students are often required to memorize lists of spelling words, reading words, and vocabulary words. As well, in math class, students are asked to memorize formulas and basic facts. A cooperative learning structure that can be used to assist students in memorizing information and use terminology correctly is Flash Cards. Kagan (2009) refers to a game called the Flash Card Game. In the flash card game, students coach one another through different rounds in which they decrease the level of prompts to their partner. The object of the game is for the partner to “win” all of their cards. The success of Flash Cards and the Flash Card game is measured by individual increases on post-assessments, partner increases, and positive peer interactions. To integrate technology, students could complete online basic fact activities with their peers as coaches and cheerleaders or encouragers. The peer can assist the student when they have difficulty with a problem, provide a strategy, and encourage them as they practice.

4. Application: Traditional lesson include a teacher directed lesson, a guided practice with the teacher, and an independent activity. However, the research has shown that students learn by teaching and interacting with other students. A cooperative learning strategy that has students applying their knowledge of problem solving is called Solve Problems. Essentially, the teacher can provide students with problems to solve in a group. Together students work together, coaching one another, and taking turns verbally sharing their strategies and ideas. In their small-groups, students identify key words, formulas, and steps together. Success is reached when all of the students are able to explain their process used to solve their problems. Solve Problems can be especially useful in a mathematics classroom. Word problems with any topic (measurement, fractions, computation, etc.) could be given to students and they would discuss and answer the problems as a group. A whole group debriefing would occur with students sharing their answers and processes with discussion from the group. This activity is useful as test review to have students benefit from peer coaching and to increase student accountability and engagement in test review material. To integrate technology, students can share their processes on an interactive whiteboard.

· Learn more about the Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures with this Slideshare presentation:
Avery Gomez, E., Wu, D. & Passerini, K., (2010). Computer-supported team-based learning: The impact of motivation, enjoyment and team contributions on learning outcomes.
Computers and Education, 55, 378-390.
Huang, Y.-M., Huang, T.-C., & Hsieh, M.-Y., (2008). Using annotation services in a ubiquitous jigsaw cooperative learning environment.
Educational Technology & Society, 11, 3-15.
Jacobs, G.M., Power, M.P., & Inn, L.W. (2002).
Teacher’s Sourcebook for Cooperative Learning: Practical Techniques, Best Principles, and Frequently Asked Questions. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Kagan, S. (2009).
Kagan Cooperative Learning. San Clements, CA: Kagan Publishing.
Stevens, R. & Slavin, R., (1995). Effects of a cooperative learning approach in reading and writing on academically handicapped and nonhandicapped students.
The Elementary School Journal, 95 (3), 241-262.
Warwick, P., Mercer, N., Kershner, R., & Kleine Staarman, J., (2010). In the mind and in the technology: The vicarious presence of the teacher in pupil’s learning of science in collaborative group activity at the interactive whiteboard.
Computers and Education, 55//, 350-362.