Cooperative learning allows students to establish beneficial relationships within the classroom to achieve a common goal. Gillies supports this definition, further stating that this approach enables attaining high pupil “achievement, socialization, motivation, and personal self-development,” which may be critical characteristics of a successful person. Thus, guiding students to form groups beneficial to them is essential for teachers who want to have a positive impact on learners.
In collectivist cultures, which rely on people working towards a common goal, communication skills may be an essential personality trait to have. Cooperative learning allows teaching these skills in a test drive of real-life situations, where pupils are allowed to make mistakes in a safe environment. Learners’ motivation in such structures is essential and maintained through positive interdependence, where students are equally reliant on and answerable to each other. While in a face-to-face classroom, collaboration can be seen easily; for example, from presenting group project results, a technology-based environment calls for a heightened level of communication between participants. However, in both situations assigning group work, such as case studies, group problem-solving, and even urging students to challenge each other, remains beneficial to learners’ knowledge and personal skills.
Cooperative learning remains an essential step in teaching students not only necessary knowledge but also critical personality skills, from conflict de-escalation to mutual support. Applicable in both web and classroom-based lessons, it aims to help pupils support each other by mimicking real-life situations of inter-dependence. Thus, pupils learn skills that are helpful and applicable in the future to different circumstances of their personal and professional lives.