Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Social Learning Theory and Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is something I am no stranger to. My school has highlighted six particular teaching strategies, two of which fall under the social learning theory.  These strategies are collaborative group work, and classroom talk and were mentioned in their week’s resource video (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

This week, in our resources we explored social learning and technology within collaborative group work. When student work together the learning is enhanced (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012).  The zone of proximal development can be stretched when working with others (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). The key factor when placing students in groups is the grouping itself (Orey, 2001). Students who are placed in balanced groups will all learn in an extraordinary way.

Students working in groups can benefit by using technology.  There are two main ways technology can be used when student work in groups: as the form of communication and as the product of their group work. Students can communicate using technology through social media such as Facebook/Fakebook, Edublogs, Skype/FaceTime. The use of technology can ease the hassle of getting together for group meetings outside of class. When using Facebook and Edublogs students can communicate at times that suit them. This would be helpful for students are on a sports team, have a job, or other obligations that would prevent them from attending group meetings. Students can meet at real time from anywhere using Skype and FaceTime. When students use technology as the product of the group work, the possibilities are endless. Students can create blogs, YouTube videos, websites, a Second Life environment, VoiceThreads, etc. When students are working on a large project together there are many problems that come up, and students must learn how to solve these problems and learn from one another. Learning from others and/or the environment is a fundamental aspect of the social learning theory (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


  1. Jen,

    I agree that putting students in balanced groups can benefit students. I always struggle with finding art projects or activities where children can work together as a group. What kinds of art projects have you done where students cooperate together in a group? Always looking for new ideas!


  2. Angel,

    It is tough to make a collaborative piece of artwork when technical skill is involved. I once planned a comic book lesson that turned out well. Every student in the group helped to write the comic, some students drew the cartoon, while others colored and wrote the words in. That seemed to keep everyone engaged. What group lessons work well for you?


  3. Jen,
    I love that you use or are planning to use Edublogs as a virtual meeting forum for cooperative learning groups. I use since it is easy to use with young students. I have never used the blog to have students share their findings with a group. I am definitely going to try this so thanks for the suggestion. We are currently working on a unit on seasons and weather using the jigsaw method. I plan on having the groups use the blog to share ideas.
    How have you used EduBlog?