COOPERATIVE LEARNING FOR TECHNOLOGY TEACHING AT UNIVERSITY LEVEL

M.D. Víctor-Ortega1, D. Airado-Rodríguez2

1University of Granada (SPAIN)
2University of Extremadura (SPAIN)
Students’ learning should be structured to achieve the promotion of cooperative, competitive, or individualistic efforts. In every classroom, instructional activities are aimed at accomplishing goals and are conducted under a goal structure.

Cooperative learning could be considered as an example of how theory validated by research might be applied to instructional practice. The major theoretical base for cooperative learning is social interdependence theory. It provides clear definitions of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic learning. Many research studies have demonstrated that cooperative learning increases students’ efforts to achieve, encourages positive relationships with classmates and faculty, and improves psychological health. Operational procedures have been derived from the validated theory to implement cooperative learning in university classes, including those needed to implement formal cooperative learning, informal cooperative learning, and cooperative base groups. In this communication, an example of application of cooperative learning to technology teaching at University level is presented. It was namely applied to “the utilization of seawater as raw material”. Within this experience, instructions were given to students to solve different problems related to the theoretical concepts previously explained by the teacher. Results confirmed the effectiveness of the proposed methodology for the improvement of the learning-teaching process.