"Active learning and cooperative learning: understanding the difference and using both styles effectively"
Subjectactive learning; cooperative learning; library instruction; information literacy; teaching method; Drake University.Cowles Library
Active learning is any teaching method that gets students actively involved; cooperative learning is one variety of active learning which structures students into groups with defined roles for each student and a task for the group to accomplish. Lecture-based library instruction is often unsuccessful for many reasons, including poor student attention, simplified examples, and too much material presented at one time. Active and/or cooperative teaching techniques involve the students in the class and increase retention of information following the class period. Active learning techniques are easier to apply and take less class time, while cooperative learning techniques require more advance planning and may take an entire class period. Choosing a teaching technique must be done carefully, with an understanding of the goals of the class session. Several possible goals are detailed, along with suggested techniques for meeting each one.
Marcia W. Keyser wrote this article while employed as a librarian at the James C. Jernigan Library, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, Texas. Keyser is currently a librarian at Cowles Library at Drake University where she teaches Information Literacy. Marcia can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org