National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Fall/Winter 2012, Volume 13, Number 2


Copyright 2012 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


Cooperative learning and team-based learning have been widely recognized as beneficial strategies to improve all levels of education, including higher education. The benefits have been widely researched and are now well-established (Johnson et al.; Michaelsen, Bauman Knight, et al.; Michaelsen & Sweet; Slavin; Springer et al.). The studies have indicated a positive relationship between cooperative learning and student effort, achievement, persistence, and motivation. Just forming groups, however, does not automatically lead to better learning and motivation; cooperation flourishes only under appropriate conditions (Fink; Gillies; Parmelee et al.). This potential for cooperation and learning is maximal when groups are structured in such a way that students understand what is expected of them and how they are supposed to work together (Johnson, Johnson, & Smith; Michaelsen & Sweet).