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Teaching & Learning with Groups

This course was designed to present proven methods for teaching students through group teaching and learning. Based on research and years of practice, this model helps teachers avoid the common pitfalls and capitalize on the many benefits of cooperative learning. The skills and procedures taught in this course and practiced in applied assignments will enable educators to motivate students by shaking up tired lesson plans. Students will become more involved, not only with their own learning, but in the learning of others as well, and the classroom as a whole will benefit as a result. This will enable students to develop important life skills for working in teams while learning subject matter more completely through increased retention.

Carlow University ED 622 • Madonna University EDU 5960.06 • Mercy University EDUT 552


The required text for this course is Cooperative Learning: An Effective Teaching Manual by June Belcher-Veasley.

ISBN 978-1-7325767-8-0

Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 2/13/24 - 5/14/24
  • 4/9/24 - 7/9/24
  • 6/11/24 - 9/10/24
  • 8/13/24 - 11/12/24
  • 10/8/24 - 1/14/25
  • 12/10/24 - 3/11/25

Course Schedule

Summer 2024

  • Aug 26-30
  • Joan Goldsmith

Session 1: Overview of Issues About Group Learning


  • Recall Past Experiences With Group Learning
  • Identify Concerns About Assigning Group Projects
  • Brainstorm Issues Needing to be Addressed Before Assigning Group Work
  • Identify Types of Cooperative Learning Groups
  • Examine School Wide Issues Related to Group Work
  • Understand Faculty Dynamics Which Support Group Action

Session 2: Cooperative, Competitive & Individualistic Approaches


  • Compare and Contrast 3 Approaches to Learning
  • Identify Strengths and Weakness of Each Approach
  • Identify Outcomes Best Achieved by Each Method
  • Examine Research Findings Regarding Social Inter-Dependence
  • Master 5 Essential Components of Successful Group Projects
  • Discover 6 Teacher Benefits of Group Projects

Session 3: Benefits and Needs for Team Skills


  • Examine The Needs of Employers For Team Players
  • Identify Interpersonal and Group Skills Needed by Students and Citizens
  • Examine Benefits of Group Work to Students and Teachers
  • Understand Effective Learning Research Regarding Different Forms of Teaching and Learning
  • Understand Research on Achievement and Competitiveness
  • Survey Psychological and Educational Roots of Cooperative Learning and Social Interdependence
  • Survey History of Practical Implementation of Cooperative Learning
  • Identify 7 Positive Outcomes of Cooperation

Session 4: Maximizing Individual Differences in Groups


  • Understand Challenges and Benefits of Different Personality Strengths in Groups
  • Apply Learning Styles Research to Group Process and Lesson Design
  • Teach Students to Appreciate and Utilize Member Differences Families

Session 5: Skills Needed by Students for Group Work


  • The 12 Inch Voice
  • Listening and Accepting Differing Opinions and Ideas
  • Negotiating Project Approaches and Tasks
  • Keeping Focused and On-Task
  • Constructive Confrontation and Conflict Resolution
  • Learning 9 Needed Group Roles
  • Roles of the Teacher as Facilitator and Supervisor

Session 6: Insuring Fair Participation & Grading of Group Projects


  • Identify 9 Forces Hindering Group Performance
  • Ways to Structure Positive Interdependence
  • Ways to Divide Group Work Roles Equally
  • Grading Methods Which Tie Reward to Effort and Performance
  • Survey Many Types of Assessments Including Performance-Based, Authentic, Total Quality Learning, Peer Assessment, Self-Rating
  • Teaching Students How to Handle Problems Which Arise
  • Group Processing Skills for Students and Teachers
  • Group Celebrations as a Culminating Activity

Session 7: Many Structures, Many Outcomes


  • Ways Groups Can be Used to Achieve Learning Outcomes
  • Deciding Group Size, Student Assignments, Room Arrangement and Group Roles
  • Structuring Tasks, Outcomes, and Creating Common Goals
  • Specifying Individual and Group Behaviors
  • Identify Different Types of Cooperative Lessons

Session 8: Teacher Competencies To Facilitate Group Learning


  1. From "Sage On The Stage" to "Guide On The Side"
  2. Teacher Skills and Behaviors: Teaching vs. Facilitating
  3. Monitoring and Intervening
  4. 8 Guidelines for Teacher Monitoring
  5. Providing Task Assistance and Social Skills
  6. Processing and Providing Closure
  7. "If You're Working Too Hard You're Not Letting The Students Learn It!" - Facilitating - Learning by Doing
  8. Ways to Make Cooperative Group Work Motivating
  9. Reasons Cooperative Learning is Worth the Effort

Session 9: Options, Functions & Types of Groups in All Subjects


  • Learn Informal and Formal Group Structures
  • Examine 5 Long-Term Benefits of Group Work
  • Integrating Types of Cooperative Learning in a Lesson or Unit
  • 3 Essential Group Roles
  • 4 Levels of Cooperative Skills
  • 5 Steps in Teaching Cooperative Skills
  • Examine Cooperative Learning Lessons for Various Subject Areas
  • Learn Guidelines for Creating Lessons and Projects
  • Ways of Sharing Products and Outcomes

Session 10: Planning, Implementation & Obtaining Support


  • Designing Lessons and Projects for Implementation
  • Methods for Obtaining Professional Support and Assistance
  • Selling the Program to Parents and Administrators
  • 3 Key Activities of a Teaching Team
  • 3 Steps for Creating a Cooperative School
  • 7 Characteristics of a Cooperative School
  • 5 Steps for Refining Cooperative Learning
  • 5 Leadership Actions for School Improvement
  • Start Small and Build on Successes
  • Discuss potential benefits and pitfalls of cooperative learning
  • Assess the impact of teachers' beliefs about how students learn on how teachers teach
  • Design improved pre-instructional strategies
  • Incorporate pre-instructional strategies into an improved group lesson
  • Modify lessons to include new strategies
  • Report on and evaluate the lesson taught last week
  • Implement the five essential elements into a group lesson
  • Compare and contrast formal and informal learning groups
  • Assess when it is best to utilize formal and informal learning groups
  • Analyze the pros and cons of competitive and individualistic learning
  • Assess the impact of teaching and learning styles and their importance in group work
  • Describe the instructional skills required for successful group work
  • Compare and contrast group work and cooperative learning
  • Explain the conflict resolution process
  • Assess the steps in problem solving
  • Develop strategies to ensure group success
  • Experience a cooperative Learning activity
  • Determine how to assign students to groups
  • Determine the most efficient arrangement of a room for group learning
  • Determine the assignment of roles in a group
  • Examine the changing assessment practices in our schools
  • Discuss new assessment formats
  • Determine various methods to evaluate academic efforts
  • Examine various assessment strategies for group learning
  • Design a cooperative group lesson plan in their content area
  • Implement the designed projects for a group of students or family
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

On-site weekend courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities page for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are required to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here. If no book is required it will be specified on the list. We have copies of many of the textbooks should you wish to purchase directly from TEI. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class and reflect the course title, dates of attendance, and credit hour information. 

Student Academic Integrity
Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.