Field Epidemiology Manual Wiki

Cooperative learning as active learning in adult

Last modified at 4/21/2016 7:37 AM by Vladimir Prikazsky

1. Cooperative learning as active learning in adult.

Many strategies have been developed in recent years to promote active learning in adult. Cooperative learning is one of the learning methods that have social benefits as well as academic. Cooperative learning groups set the stage for students and professional to learn social skills. Leadership, decision-making and communication. It is a method which learners work in a small heterogeneous group and take advantages of each other’s expertise to achieve a common goal, and promote higher self-esteem which is an important attribute for better performance and interpersonal success. Cooperative group allows people to bring their own experience to the learning process and increase active learning with the contribute to each other [1]. It encourages creativity, stimulates discussion and it improve competences and performances. Cooperative goals lead to opportunities to enhance communication skills, and more important, to problem-solving [2].

The goals of cooperative learning are recognized as the improvement of interpersonal skills, knowledge, higher-level thinking ability [3, 4]. Through interaction, learners improve their ability to interrogate issues, share ideas, clarify differences, and construct new events comprehension [5]. To be cooperative, a group must have clear goals, positive interdependence of materials and rules. Every member must promote his skills and success thanks to the others. They must work together face to face, use in an appropriate way the interpersonal skills needed to be successful. These essential components must be present in a cooperative group  in order to be truly cooperative [1].

This method promotes competences required to prepare graduates to labour market. In particular it is a useful way in developing skills as teamwork, interpersonal communication between nurse and patients and leadership. It is also a good strategy to change some behaviours, a productive model in “long life learning”, to improve critical thinking and help in the training of adult in care setting, on security and prevention of biological risks.


  1. Johnson DW, Johnson RT, Smith KA. Cooperative Learning: Increasing College Faculty Instructional Productivity [internet]. Washington DC: The George Washington University; 1991. Available from: [accessed 5th April 2016].

  2. Earl GL. Using cooperative learning for a drug information assignment. Am J Pharm Educ. 2009 Nov 12;73(7):132.

  3. van der Laan Smith J, Spindle RM. The impact of group formation in a cooperative learning environment. J. of Acc. Ed. 25 (2007) 153-167.

  4. Dahley AM. Cooperative Learning Classroom Research [internet]. Available from [accessed 5th April 2016].

  5. Gillies R, Boyle M. Teachers' reflections on cooperative learning: issues of implementation. Teaching and Teacher Education. May 2010;6(4):933-940.

Original contribution form:

Cristina Arrigoni and Daniela Miazza, Experimental and Forensic Medicine Department – University of Pavia Italy.

Anna Maria Grugnetti, Experimental and Forensic Medicine Department – University of Pavia and San Matteo Hospital of Pavia Italy.

Rosario Caruso, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato Milano – Italy.

Francesco Auxilia, Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan.