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Module Five: Positive Interdependence
 

"Collaborative Learning is a relationship among learners that requires positive interdependence (a sense of sink or swim together), individual accountability (each of us has to contribute and learn), interpersonal skills (communication, trust, leadership, decision making, and conflict resolution), face-to-face promotive interaction, and processing (reflecting on how well the team is functioning and how to function even better)". (Collaborative Learning, http://www.gdrc.org/kmgmt/c-learn/index.html) For further discussion of positive interdependence as a key element in collaborative/cooperative learning, see these additional resources:

Providing students with the skills to successfully work in groups provides them with the social and academic skills that will benefit them throughout their educational careers and into the workforce. In collaborative/cooperative classrooms students have increased opportunities to "obtain higher levels of achievement, increase time on task, build cross-ethnic friendships, experience enhanced self-esteem, build life-long interaction and communication skills, and to master the habits of mind (critical, creative and self-regulated) needed to function as productive members of society" (A Guide to Cooperative Learning, http://www.pgcps.pg.k12.md.us/~elc/learning1.html)       
 "Teachers who employ cooperative learning methods promote learning because these collaborative experiences engage students in an interactive approach to processing information, resulting in greater retention of subject matter, improved attitudes toward learning, and enhanced interpersonal relations among group members" (A Guide to Cooperative Learning, http://www.pgcps.pg.k12.md.us/~elc/learning1.html).
Often you will find cooperative/collaborative methods discussed as a singular method. While the two methods share many similarities the most distinct difference is found in the role of the instructor. In cooperative learning the instructors remain a critical source of authority for the group but in collaborative learning instructors distance themselves from the group interactions giving full control to the group.
 
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