Advantages
Disadvantages
It has been shown to have a positive effect on student learning when compared to individual or competitive conditions

It has the potential to produce a level of engagement that other forms of learning cannot

Students may explain things better to another student than a teacher to a class. Students learn how to teach one another and explain material in their own words

Questions are more likely to be asked and answered in a group setting

Positive interdependency is achieved as individuals feel that they cannot succeed unless everyone in their group succeeds

Interpersonal and collaboration skills can be learned in a cooperative learning activity

Cooperative learning has the potential to meet more learning style needs more of the time than individualized direct instruction

Sends the symbolic message that the class is egalitarian and classless

Higher ability students are in a position to be experts, leaders, models and teachers; lower ability students get the benefits of having higher ability students in their group.
A burden is making the students responsible for each other’s learning apart from themselves

One study showed that in groups of mixed ability, low-achieving students become passive and do not focus on the task

Depending on an individual’s motivation and interest on a particular subject that will determine how well they would learn

The goal of scaffolding is for students to become independent and able to think by themselves, without the help of others

High stakes create increased chances for conflict and therefore need for conflict resolution skills

It is difficult for the teacher to be sure that the groups are discussing the academic content rather than something else.

Higher ability students may not experience the stimulation or challenge that they would with other higher ability students.

Lower ability students may feel perpetually in need of help rather than experiencing the role of leader or expert relative to the others in their group


Shindler, J. 2009, Effectively Managing the Cooperative Classroom, [Online], Available: http://www.calstatela.edu/faculty/jshindl/cm/Chapter12CooperativeLearning-final.htm [2012, March 21]


Tejada, C. 2002, Research on Cooperative Learning, [Online], Available: http://condor.admin.ccny.cuny.edu [2012, March 22]



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