Cooperative Learning: Effective Team Work! 20+ Resources

Part of the Cool Sites series

Cooperative Learning

Every Friday I am presenting free webinars thanks to American TESOL! We have an incredible time. Recently, we discussed the benefits of cooperative learning. Through cooperative learning students learn effective team work through:

  • Accountability– students realize the contribution of each individual will determine the success of the task.
  • Team building– students learn how to listen to each other, resolve conflicts, delegate tasks, set deadlines and support each other.

The teacher acts as the facilitator walking around the class and ensuring teams are supporting each other. The teams will have problems. A student from at least one of the teams will be lazy. Kids are this way, but this is a teachable moment. We get to help the students learn to resolve these conflicts. If we do not teach them they will not learn. When using cooperative learning, the teacher will think about the:

  • Team formation– It’s important that teams consist of students with different abilities, skills, and cultural backgrounds.
  • Structuring of tasks– Tasks should be designed so that one student cannot complete the task but each member’s contribution is needed.

Students will need to learn how to effectively work with others on problem solving when they enter college and the workforce. Imagine the teams you have been part of and the nightmare it has been!

Please check out the incredible thoughts shared by many educators in this Voicethread!

And here is the webinar I recently did on Cooperative Learning!

Cooperative Learning Classroom Activities

Check out these resources to integrate cooperative learning activities effectively.

Kagan Cooperative Learning-Structures for Success Part 1
Cooperative Learning Research
What Cooperative Learning Looks Like in the Classroom
What Works: Cooperation vs. Competition– Read about my experiences integrating cooperative learning into my young learners classroom
Cooperative Learning Games for Young Learners (PDF)
The different job titles and explanations along with links to Melissa Smith’s Cooperative Learning Project
Silent Card Shuffle (Video)
Several Cooperative Learning Activities on the Kagan Youtube Channel (Videos)
9 Cooperative Learning Activities
The Jigsaw Classroom

Alfie Kohn Resources

Workshops by Alfie Kohn relating to competition and rewards
No Contest: Podcast featuring an interview with Alfie Kohn
Punished by Rewards (Article) by Alfie Kohn
No Contest Excerpts of Alfie Kohn’s book

More Resources

What is Cooperative Learning? Research by the Institute for Character Education
Cooperative Learning Elements Kennesaw State University Resources
Several Cooperative Learning Resources by Cybraryman
Cooperative Learning in the Library by Cybraryman
New Teacher Chat (#NTChat) Archive: How can new teachers make cooperative learning more effective in the classroom?
The Cooperative Learning Network
Cooperative Learning Research and Education Programs


Try a cooperative learning lesson this semester!

You may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell),, and on her blog,, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at


  1. Cooperative learning offers much to increase involvement in class activities—whether they be whole class or with small or large groups. If the “jobs” of each cooperative-learning team are defined (time-keeper, facilitator, recorder, reporter, summarizer, etc.), everyone can be involved and wholly engaged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *