The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Cooperative Learning in online groups: A design-based approach

Dorothy Joy Laubscher, North-West University (South Africa)

Chantelle Bosch, North-West University (South Africa)


Although group work is used extensively as an effective teaching and learning strategy to allow for student engagement and to promote active learning (Clinton & Wilson, 2019), many students experience challenges with working in groups especially in an online platform (Bakir, Humphreys & Dana, 2020). Cooperative learning as a teaching learning strategy was initially implemented in face-to-face contexts, where it has proven to be successful (Loh & Ang, 2020). Only recently has research started being done on how to successfully implement cooperative learning in an online environment. Cooperative learning has also proved to increase students’ self-directedness. The design-based approach to the course design made use of various technologies as suitable platforms to provide distance students with the opportunity to engage with the learning content and with each other. It allowed opportunities for them to critique each other’s work, improve the final tasks and take responsibility for their own learning. The design-based research approach embedded the five principles of cooperative learning (Johnson & Johnson, 2021) in the course design, to assist students to have a clear outline of roles and responsibilities within the group. This also ensured that students not only successfully complete the group task, but it also assisted them to actively engage in the course and feel less isolated in their studies.




Cooperative Learning, online learning, self-directed learning, design-based research,  



[1] Bakir, N., Humpherys, S., & Dana, K. (2020). Students' Perceptions of Challenges and Solutions to Face-to-Face and Online Group Work. Information Systems Education Journal18(5), 75-88.


[2] Clinton, V., & Wilson, N. (2019). More than chalkboards: Classroom spaces and collaborative learning attitudes. Learning Environments Research22, 325-344.


[3] Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2021). Learning together and alone: the history of our involvement in cooperative learning. In Pioneering perspectives in cooperative learning (pp. 44-62). Routledge.


[4] Loh, R. C. Y., & Ang, C. S. (2020). Unravelling Cooperative Learning in Higher Education: A Review of Research. Research in Social Sciences and Technology5(2), 22-39.


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