Award in Developing Effective Cooperative Learning Strategies

MQF Level: 6

ECTS Value: 2 ECTS

Duration: 4 Sessions

Contact Hours: 10

Self Study Hours: 24

Assessment Hours: 16


Course Description

Cooperative learning involves instructional use of small groups whereby students work together to enhance their own and each other’s learning. It promotes higher achievement through peer cooperation and communication. This course is intended to enable educators to organise effective cooperative learning activities to promote academic achievement, critical thinking, and social skills.

Entry Requirements

Applicants interested in following this programme are to satisfy one of the minimum eligibility criteria:

1. An awarded MATSEC Certificate at MQF Level 4, or equivalent;

2. A full MQF Level 4 qualification with a minimum of 120 ECTS, or equivalent;

3. Three subjects at Advanced Level (MQF 4) from a recognised awarding body;

4. Two subjects at Advanced Level and three Intermediate Subjects at MQF Level 4 from a recognised awarding body;

5. An MQF Level 5 Certificate, minimum of 30 ECTS, or higher.

Overall Objectives and Outcomes

By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:


a) Develop a research-based approach to cooperative learning strategies from the literature provided and researched by group discussions and observations;
b) Establish the cooperative learning strategies that would be suitable for their classroom situation by self-reflection of practice;
c) Implement structured cooperative learning strategies in order to better achieve the learning outcomes by analysing previous group work practices to new strategies learned;
d) Ensure the benefits of cooperative learning are clearly addressed to all stakeholders by establishing open communication with adults in class, parents and students


a) Define cooperative learning;
b) Outline different types of cooperative learning including formal, informal and cooperative base groups;
c) Develop knowledge of literature about the origins and studies of cooperative learning;
d) Identify the benefits of using cooperative learning;
e) Demonstrate knowledge of methods of assessment for cooperative learning.


a) Demonstrate examples of cooperative learning based on the literature by applying them with peers;
b) Plan grouping effectively to achieve desired lesson outcomes;
c) Demonstrate critical thinking skills when choosing the right task to align with the learning outcomes and desired assessment through group discussions and observations;
d) Analyse group dynamics in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the cooperative learning taking place by keeping anecdotal notes and a running record of observations;
e) Appraise own observations in order to develop better group formations by keeping a reflective diary

Mode of Delivery

This module adopts a blended approach to teaching and learning. Information related to the structure and delivery of the module may be accessed through the IfE Portal. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures found on the Institute for Education’s website.  

Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.


Upon successful completion of this module, course participants will be conferred an accredited certification. 

Further Learning Opportunities and Career Progression

Upon successful completion of this module, course participants may use certification conferred to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning for accredited programme. Teachers may also use this certification in their application for accelerated progression.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
1. Davidson, N., & Major, C.H. (2014). Boundary crossings: Cooperative Learning, collaborative learning, and problem-based learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(3&4), 7-55. https://northweststate.edu/wp-content/uploads/files/BoundaryCrossings.pdf
2. Kagan, S. (2013). Cooperative Learning: Structures. Kagan Cooperative Learning.
3. Kagan, S. (2015). 59 Structures: Proven Engagement Strategies. Kagan Cooperative Learning.
4. Slavin, R.E., (1991). Synthesis of Research on Cooperative Learning. EL Magazine. ASCD. https://files.ascd.org/staticfiles/ascd/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_199102_slavin.pdf
5. Walters, L.S. (2000). Putting Cooperative Learning to the Test. Harvard Education Letter. https://www.pxu.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=11951&dataid=12949 &FileName=Putting%20Cooperative%20Lerning%20to%20The%20Test%20by%20L%20Walters.p df

Supplementary Reading List

1. Clowes, G. (2011). The Essential 5: A starting point for Kagan Cooperative Learning http://www.kaganonline.com/free_articles/research_and_rationale/330/The-Essential-5-AStarting-Point-for-Kagan-Cooperative-Learning
2. Hennessey, A. & Dionigi, R.A. (2013). Implementing cooperative learning in Australian primary schools; Generalist teachers’ perspectives. Issues in Educational Research , 23(1), Charles Sturt University. http://www.iier.org.au/iier23/hennessey.pdf
3. Smith, K.A. (1996). Cooperative learning: Making “groupwork” work. In C. Bonwell & T. Sutherlund, Eds., Active learning: Lessons from practice and emerging issues. New Directions for Teaching and Learning 67, 71-82. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

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