Cooperative learning: Lessons and insights from thirty years of championing a research-based innovative practice

Karl A. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Innovation according to Denning and Dunham (2010) is "the adoption of a new practice in a community." I argue that our innovations need to be based on good learning theory and good instructional practice. The Johnson and Johnson conceptual model of cooperative learning is an excellent example of a widely adopted evidence-based practice. I identified cooperative learning as important for engineering education in about 1974, tried it in my classes and did some systematic research on it with David and Roger Johnson, introduced it to the engineering education community in 1981 (FIE conference and JEE paper), and it took over 25 years for it to become widespread practice. My point in presenting this story is I don't think we can afford to wait 25 or more years for the current innovations to make it into practice. This paper summarizes the history of the emergence of cooperative learning in engineering education; documents the development of the theoretical, empirical, and practical support; maps the milestones and lessons learned; and provides insights and guidance for engineering education researchers and innovators especially concerning increasing the rate of adoption of evidence-based promising practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Event41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011 - Rapid City, SD, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2011Nov 15 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Other

Other41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011
CountryUnited States
CityRapid City, SD
Period10/12/1111/15/11

Keywords

  • cooperative learning
  • engineering education research and innovation
  • evidence-based promising practice

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