We’ve been revisiting the nine research-based high-yield instructional practices identified in Marzano’s Classroom Instruction That Works. As teachers, we know the power of collaboration based upon our PLC successes and based upon the focus we placed on collaboration just a few years ago. According to Marzano and his team, the meta-analysis shows that cooperative learning can produce an effect size of .73 ((please remember that the effect size is the increase in student achievement as measured in standard deviation). Below are a few suggestions regarding how to include collaboration in your classroom (https://www.wabisabilearning.com/blog/20-collaborative-learning-tips-and-strategies-for-teachers):
- Establish group goals. The goal for each group and activity should be clearly linked to course content and objectives.
- Keep groups mid-sized. A group of 4-5 students is ideal.
- Create group member roles. If your students require a bit more direction, create roles for each individual and hold them accountable for fulfilling their roles.
- Be mindful of diversity and gender matters when creating groups. Students benefit from a variety of perspectives and the prior experiences of unique individuals. Blend as much as possible for richness.
- Employ technology to enhance collaboration. Shared folders and documents give students access to the work of the entire team and make collaboration more powerful.
How do you use cooperative learning activities in your classroom? Are you planning for such experiences? How can you make your next cooperative learning experience even better? As you prepare for next week, keep these things in mind. You and your students will be glad you did!