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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


From Cooperation to Collaboration: Learning Together

Maureen Musser.

Interactive learning groups are an effective method for students to learn content, raise self-esteem, and promote tolerance among students. Types of interactive groups can be viewed as a continuum from cooperative groups, which involve a structure of interaction designed to reach a goal or develop a product, to collaborative groups, which involve a personal philosophy of learning that is much more than an instructional technique.
This paper will discuss the continuum from cooperative to collaborative interactive learning groups based on a foundation of social learning theory. Using the lens of Voygotsky's social constructivism, learning is seen as consisting of active participation involving social interaction and oral communication. The development of relationships between members of a group to gain the most benefit from interactive learning groups is examined. Teachers need adequate preparation to use bonding and team building activities to help students build relationships to optimize the use of interactive learning groups as a productive instructional strategy.


Maureen Musser  (United States)
Assistant Professor
School of Education
Willamette University

I am currently the President of the Oregon Association of Teacher Educators, a member of the board of directors of the Oregon Middle Level Association, co-chair of the Middle Level Consortium, and past president of Kappa Delta Pi, Omicron Sigma Chapter. I have presented at several national conferences including presentations dealing with cooperative learning and family, school and community partnerships.

  • Cooperative Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Collaborative Groups
  • Interactive Learning Groups
  • Bonding
  • Team Building
  • Relationships

(30 min Conference Paper, English)