Universitat de València (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 2978-2981
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The European Higher Education Area is making increasing demands on improvements in both the quality and the scale of teaching and learning. This new approach requires that students have an active role in the learning process. It is within this framework, where the cooperative learning acquires a great relevance.

Cooperative Learning involves structuring classes around small groups that work together in such a way that each group member's success is dependent on the group's success. There are different kinds of groups for different situations, but they all balance some key elements that distinguish cooperative learning from competitive or individualistic learning. In this environment the students always work among peers and the teacher acts as a guide. The teacher assigns to a group of students a comprehensive task, which is broken down into a series of individual tasks to each group member. The most prominent features of this type of learning are personal responsibility, interdependence with other members and group dynamics [1]. In collaborative work, a student cannot solve by itself the task assigned to the group, but depends on the work of their peers. This means that each member of the group must take the responsibility for his/her specific task, so that the goals achieved by each member of the group can be coordinated together to develop successfully the global task assigned.

Designing experiences to stimulate and support knowledge exchange, collaborative learning and innovation is a challenging task. In this communication, we present the results of a collaborative and interdisciplinary work carried out within the framework of the PIE (Teaching Innovation Project) in Chemistry from the University of Valencia. The work has been proposed to several groups of the last grade level in chemistry. Finally, the works were exposed and presented by the students in the form of a poster to the rest of students and teachers. Each group defended its work in a session that resembled a conference in order to the students acquire the necessary tools not only to prepare a job, but also to present it.

[1] Slavin, R.E., Cooperative learning: theory, research and practice, Allun and Bacon, Boston, 1995.
Collaborative Learning, Teaching Innovation Project, Community of Practice, Chemical Education Research.