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    Cooperative vs. Collaborative Learning
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Teach Online:
Cooperative vs. Collaborative Learning

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Similarities and Differences between Cooperative and Collaborative Learning


  1. Stress the importance of active learning.
  2. The instructor acts as facilitator
  3. Teaching and learning are experiences shared by both the student and the teacher.
  4. Enhance higher order cognitive skills.
  5. Greater emphasis is placed on students’ responsibility for taking charge of her or his learning.
  6. Involve situations where students must articulate ideas in small groups.
  7. Help students develop social and team building skills.
  8. Increase student success and information retention.
  9. Utilize student diversity


  • Students receive training in small group social skills.
  • Activities are structured with each student having a specific role.
  • The teacher observes, listens and intervenes in a group when necessary.
  • Students submit work at the end of class for evaluation.
  • Students assess individual and group performance.


  • There is the belief that students already have the necessary social skills, and that they will build on their existing skills in order to reach their goals.
  • Students organize and negotiate efforts themselves.
  • The activity is not monitored by the instructor.
  • When questions are directed towards the teacher, the teacher guides the students to the information needed.
  • Students retain drafts to complete further work.
  • Students assess individual and group performance.

Source: Matthews, Roberta S.; Cooper, James L.; Davidson, Neil; Hawkes, Peter. Building bridges between cooperative and collaborative learning. Change, Vol. 27, No. 4 (Jul. – Aug., 1995), pp. 34-40.
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Updated May 2022.


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