sexta-feira, 30 de outubro de 2009

Cartoon: cooperative and Freedom

I made this cartoon.
There I (Teresa)try to understand the Theory of Cooperative Freedom and my teachers are Mrs. Education, Miss Cooperative and Miss Freedom.

domingo, 25 de outubro de 2009

Cooperative Learning - Annotated Bibliography

This annotated bibliography aims to bring together a set of ideas that result from a survey about "cooperative freedom”, conducted in the UC Processos Pedagógicos em e-learning.
I´ve organized this annotated bibliography according to categories that show the route I chose to perform this activity.
So, I tried to understand:
- The concept “Cooperative Learning”;
- “Cooperative learning” versus “Collaborative learning”;
- The Cooperative Freedom Theory
- Problems & benefits

Cooperative Learning

  • “ Cooperative Learning”; in the site of Kennesaw State University. Retrieved October 22, 2009, from
    This paper defines Cooperative learning as “a successful teaching strategy in which small teams, each with students of different levels of ability, use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject”. And for that success contributes the cooperative learning techniques that promote student learning and academic achievement; increase student retention; enhance student satisfaction with their learning experience; help students develop skills in oral communication; develop students' social skills; promote student self-esteem; help to promote positive race relations.
    Conditions required:
    1. Positive Interdependence
    2. Face-to-Face Interaction
    3. Individual & Group Accountability
    4. Interpersonal & Small-Group Skills
    5. Group Processing
    Finally, are given examples of class activities that use Cooperative Learning, for instance: Think-Pair-Share, which involves a three step cooperative structure. During the first step individuals think silently about a question posed by the instructor. Individuals pair up during the second step and exchange thoughts. In the third step, the pairs share their responses with other pairs, other teams, or the entire group.

  • Johnson, Roger and David (1997), “Cooperative Learning and Conflict Resolution”. Retrieved October 21, 2009, from The authors describe Cooperative Learning as “the instructional use of small groups so that student work together to achieve shared goals”. The students are responsible “to learn the assigned material and to make sure that all other group members do likewise”.
    The cooperative Learning can be used to teach specific content formal – described as cooperative learning groups; to ensure active cognitive processing information during lectures – informal cooperative learning groups; and to provide long-term support and assistance for academic progress – cooperative base groups.
    It´s refereed that teachers need proper training before they structured cooperatively any assignment in any curriculum for any age student, so that students believe they
    (a) sink or swim together,
    (b) assist and encourage others to achieve,
    (c) are individually accountable for doing their part of the group's work,
    (d) have to master the required interpersonal and small group skills to be an effective group member,
    (e) should discuss how well the group is working and what could be done to improve the group work.
    According to studies, that have been conducted, “Cooperative learning consistently improves achievement and retention, creates more positive relationships among students, and promotes students' psychological health and self-esteem.”

“Cooperative learning” versus “Collaborative learning

  • Panitz, Ted (2003), “Collaborative versus cooperative learning – a comparison of the two concepts which will help us understand the underlying nature of interactive learning”. Retrieved October 22, 2009, from
    In this article the author has as goal clarify the definitions of collaborative and cooperative learning. He intends to do that by giving his definitions of the two terms and reviewing the definitions of other authors and by presenting and analyzing the educational benefits of collaborative/cooperative learning techniques.
    It’s given a basic definition of the terms collaborative and cooperative, reduced to their simplest terms:
    “Collaboration is a philosophy of interaction and personal lifestyle where individuals are responsible for their actions, including learning and respect the abilities and contributions of their peers;
    Cooperation is a structure of interaction designed to facilitate the accomplishment of a specific end product or goal through people working together in groups.”

The Cooperative Freedom Theory

  • Paulsen, Morten (2003); “Cooperative Freedom: An Online Education Theory”. Retrieved October 22, 2009, from
    Paulsen refers the three theoretical positions on distance education, identified by Keegan (1998): Theories of autonomy and independence; Theories of industrialization, and Theories of interaction and communication.
    Paulsen developed the theory of cooperative freedom from some of the perspectives mentioned above, included in the group of Theories of Autonomy and Independence.
    In this article, Paulsen claims that one of the targets in a distance education course it’s to achieve the high level of freedom for the students and suggests the use of 6-axis of the Theory of Freedom Cooperative as a possible guide for implementing a distance education course: Time, Space, Pace, Medium, Access and Content.
    Freedom of time
    A course of EAD should permit a high degree of freedom so that communication can occur whenever it is appropriate and should be a minimum waiting time of the response.
    The CMC can be completely independent of time (available, ideally 24 / day, 365 days / year) providing instant access to information and a system of asynchronous communication between partners, may, however, the matter also to systems that support synchronous communication.
    Freedom of space
    EAD must allow students to choose the location from which you want to study. Paulsen emphasizes the potential of CMC can be from anywhere in the world, whether in formal or informal, where there is a telephone line or a data network.
    Freedom of pace
    “Wells (1992) identifies three pacing techniques available with CMC. The first is group assignments that urge coherent pacing within groups. The second is gating, a technique that denies students access to information before they have completed all prerequisite assignments. The third technique is limited time access to services such as conferences, databases, and guest speakers.”
    The existence of a time plan a course of distance education, with starting dates and terminus, including timelines for the moments of evaluation, etc., can be considered a negative constraint for the establishment of individual patterns of progression. To get around this, different courses have a more flexible organizational structure, allowing students to choose some of the terms, or by setting different deadlines for the same event or not setting any deadlines, in the case of correspondence teaching.
    Freedom of medium
    Nipper (1989) argues that there are three generations of distance education: the first, correspondence teaching based on written and printed material. Then come distance education courses based on broadcast media (radio and television, video tape or audio).The third generation have been using CMC systems. Paulsen argues that “Programs with a high level of freedom provide students with access to several media or sources of information: print, video, face-to-face meetings, computer conferencing, etc. This approach will support different learning styles and prevent exclusion of students lacking access to or knowledge of high technology media.”
    Such approach will make possible different learning styles, avoiding the exclusion of participants due to lack of access or lack of knowledge of the use of media technology advanced.
    Freedom of Access
    Paulsen says “programs that aspire to a high level of freedom must eliminate discrimination on the basis of social class, entry qualifications, gender, age, ethnicity, or occupation.”
    Should be students decide whether or not they are able to attend and conduct the studies.
    Freedom of Content
    The students should have the possibility to structure the curriculum appropriate to their needs / interests from a wide range of disciplinary options and to transfer credit between programs and universities. So it is necessary to intensify cooperation between the institutions.
    Aware of the difficulties that may arise from implementing this theory, in particular, the acceptance of different individual learning rhythms, that might influence the evolution of collective learning, the author proposes the co-teaching, that is, the involvement of several teachers in the system in order to reduce the dependency between students and teacher and, of course, the response time in teacher-student communication.

  • Paulsen, Morten (2008); “Cooperative Online Education”, in - International journal of media, technology and lifelong learning Vol. N – Issue N – 20NN. Retrieved October 21, 2009, from
    In this article, the author presents experiences and situations in which positive results were obtained when relating cooperative learning with issues like web 2.0, transparency, learning partners and individual progression plans.

  • Dalsgaard, Christian & Paulsen, Morten (2009); “Transparency in Cooperative Online Education”. Retrieved October 23, 2009, from
    In this article the authors are confident that transparency supports quality and cooperation.
    “Transparency is important for cooperative online education. People can only cooperate if they know about each other and have access to some common information and services. Cooperation will benefit when general and personal information related to the learning and the learners is available directly or indirectly to the learning community. This transparent information may include personal information about the users and statistics related to the users’ deployment of the online tools. It may further include work students and teachers provide in online notebooks, blogs, and discussion forums as well as results from quizzes, surveys, and assignments.”

And also,

Problems & benefits

  • Bafile, C. (2005); “Cooperative Learning Saves the Day: One Teacher's Story”. Retrieved October 23, 2009, from
    This is the story of the Math Teacher Theodore Panitz, who found in the cooperative learning the solution for his problem: give his students the necessary skills to solve problems.
    Also shows the benefits of cooperative learning identified by Dr. Panitz:
    - Promotes critical thinking skills
    - Involves students actively in the learning process
    - Improves classroom results
    - Models appropriate student problem-solving techniques
    - Personalizes large lectures
    - Motivates students in specific curriculum
    - Develops a social support system for students
    - Builds diversity understanding among students and staff
    - Establishes a positive atmosphere for modeling and practicing cooperation
    - Develops learning communities
    - Raises students' self-esteem
    - Reduces anxiety
    - Develops positive attitudes towards teachers
    - Utilizes a variety of assessment techniques
    The article indicates Panitz´s favorite cooperative-learning activities that he uses regularly in his classroom: Pair Reading; Math Olympics and Factoring Jigsaw.

  • Eckersley, C. (2003); “Self-paced, e-learning – what value to universities?”. Retrieved October 24, 2009, from
    This article reports an experience, in 2001, when the Education Faculty, at the University of Newcastle, decided to use self-paced e-learning as a means of skilling and assessing students in the computing competencies as required by the Dept of Education and Training (New South Wales).
    In this article, the author concludes that “resources will not easily replace face-to-face instruction in the university environment unless they offer flexibility and relevance to the student learner before they will be ready to commit time to e-learning. They must also give teaching staff the flexibility to customize the learning material no matter how “complete and self-contained” the modules may seem. Making self-paced e-learning resources available to students is like putting a library on a university campus with no teachers. Only the most motivated learners will use them”.
    This article focus important issues related to autonomy and student motivation, and how these aspects can compromise a self-paced e-learning.

  • Gokhale, A. (1995); “Collaborative Learning Enhances Critical Thinking” in Jornal of Technology Education, V. 7, N. 1. Retrieved October 25, 2009, from
    This article describes a study with the purpose to examine the effectiveness of individual learning versus collaborative learning in enhancing drill-and-practice skills and critical-thinking skills.
    The author identifies the research questions; the Methodology and the research design.
    The principal finding of this study was:
    - students who participated in collaborative learning had performed significantly better on the critical- thinking test than students who studied individually
    This result is consistent with the learning theories proposed by advocates of collaborative learning: Vygotsky (1978), advocates students are capable of performing at higher intellectual levels when asked to work in collaborative situations than when asked to work individually; Bruner (1985) maintains that cooperative learning methods improve problem- solving strategies because the students are confronted with different interpretations of the given situation.
    So, Collaborative learning develop critical thinking through discussion and clarification of ideas, and develop problem solving skills.The teacher's role is not to transmit information but to create and manage learning experiences and stimulating students' thinking.
    The article calls for the conduct studies that focus on "the effect of different variables in the process of collaborative learning."

  • Hayden, K. (2008); "Make Cooperative Learning Projects Successful", posted in "". Retrieved October 25, 2009, from While there are some identified problems associated to the Cooperative Learning, in particular the evaluation that is common to all elements of the group being impossible to distinguish between students who worked more, it is considered that is necessary to focus on the cooperative Learning in order to achieve success student. They are given advice in order to avoid this problem: “keep groups small to help with individual accountability, randomly call on students to explain the group’s work, keep a close eye on individual work during class time by recording work completed and give each group member a separate task.”

  • Kimber, D. (2001); “Collaborative Learning in Management Education: Issues, benefits, problems and solutions: A literature review”. Retrieved October 25, 2009, from
    This article reviews the literature on collaborative learning. Identifying in this review the following:
    - learning being centred on student based activities rather than being teacher focused,
    - an emphasis on students assisting each other to find answers to areas of common inquiry rather than seeking answers from teachers
    - learning being based on the solving of problems by data gathering, analysis and discussion by student groups.
    The author presents a historical review of education collaborative, starting by identifying that “CL was first established in Greek and Roman schools and coincides with the philosophy of Socratic learning”; a set of different collaborative learning applications, proposed by Sheridan et al. (1989); and 10 research outcomes relating to Cooperative Learning.
    This article presents problems with Collaborative Learning (CL) identified by Sheridan et al (1989) in their survey:
    - CL requires staff to be able to provide a more individualised reaction to students
    - CL best suits students who have well developed social skills
    - A slow transition from traditional to collaborative mode may be necessary when students are unused to the approach.
    - The ambiguity of being a mentor rather than a didactic influence can cause insecurity for both staff and students.
    - Resistance from academics who place high value on traditional, empirically based (i.e. independent and supposedly objective) means of assessment or evaluation.
    - Research findings indicate that alternative approaches to assessment are an integral aspect of CL and are perhaps one of the major hurdles to its wider acceptance in education. Kimber presents 5 reasons for successful CL programs: Clear definition of activities; Recognition of student needs; Academic honesty; Group management; Matching assessment with the teaching methodology.

quarta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2009

The Hexagon of Cooperative freedom

The Hexagon of Cooperative Freedom