Cooperative-learning activities in large entry-level geology courses
R.H. and Korinek Macdonald 1995 Journal of Geological Education v. 43, p. 341-345
Abstract: Small-group cooperative-learning activities involving writing and/or oral presentations promote active learning in large lecture-based physical and historical geology courses. Goups include informal pairings of students for short discussions, writing peer-review groups of three to four students, and groups that work together throughout the semester on a variety of other projects. Writing assignments consist of ungraded in-class writing and graded short papers on a variety of geological topics. Oral presentations include debates, panel presentations, and skits. As students exchange ideas and work with one another in these activities, they are learning geology as well as improving their communication and collaboration skills. The learning communities that develop reduce the isolation many students feel in a large lecture class. To implement cooperative-learning, instructors should design activities that incorporate key elements of cooperative learning and are directly related to course objectives.