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Course Structure: Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning arranges course activities around small group interaction. Each member of the group is equally responsible for the success of the group, and is individually accountable for his or her participation. Groups can vary in size and composition, depending on the learning goal. You can rearrange the groups' membership as needed during the duration of your course.

You can use the Learning Activities area to introduce topics and activities, and then student groups conduct research and work together to produce a product to present to the class.

The Teams spaces and Our Wiki allow you to monitor the progress of the groups and the class as a whole. The My Reflections journal is a space where students can communicate with you individually as they manage their participation in the groups.

This course structure works well for any curriculum centered around group work, such as theater, vocational programs, or social studies.

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You can print this topic and refer to it while you build your course. You might also want to print Using Course Structures to use as a reference.

What Does the Course Menu Look Like?

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Using Your Course Menu

The following table describes the content areas and course tools included in the Cooperative Learning course structure.

Content Areas and Course Tools in the Cooperative Learning Course Structure
Content Type Description
Learning Activities Learning Activities is your central instructor-designed content area. To provide your students with an easy-to-navigate and familiar environment, you can create folders for each activity. Include similar content, such as the schedule for class work and homework, links to articles and readings, and each group's roster and instructions.

To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.

Resources In the Resources content area, you can share additional material so interested students can learn more. Help students expand on the information presented in the activities by directing them to specific web articles and recommended reading. Students can also use these resources to find topics for projects or papers.

To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.

Our Wiki Students use wikis to share and collaborate on content. Our Wiki is available to the entire course, and you can give each group a private wiki in the Teams area. Ask students to contribute individually to the course wiki, creating pages such as chapter reviews and compilations of activity resources.

To learn more, see Wikis.

Idea Share Assign a blog entry for each activity in Idea Share to give students an opportunity to share their thoughts. Making the blogs graded and requiring students to comment on each other's entries encourages a class-wide conversation about each activity.

To learn more, see Blogs

My Reflections Journal entries are visible only to you and the student, allowing them to reflect on their experiences independently. During each group-based learning activity, ask students to talk about how their group is performing in My Reflections. This will give you insight into which groups need assistance dividing work effectively.

To learn more, see Journals.

Chat Use the live, text-based Chat area for additional class meetings, question-and-answer sessions, real-time interaction in asynchronous courses, and virtual office hours. As thought-provoking questions arise in the discussion forums or blogs, schedule chat sessions so students can continue the conversations live. You can also allow groups to chat privately in the Teams area so they can plan their project work together.

To learn more, see Chat.

Teams Create private, collaborative workspaces in Teams for smaller sections of students to build knowledge together. To encourage students to take on different group roles, change the composition and size of groups for each learning activity, and vary the tools available to the group depending on each project's goals.

To learn more, see Creating Groups.

What's New The customizable What's New module page provides students with a single place to go for an overview of current course information such as Announcements, My Calendar, To Do, What's New, and My Tasks.

To learn more, see Notifications Dashboard.

Course Info In the Course Info content area, provide materials that students can access throughout the semester. Include a syllabus or other basics, such as grading policies, a schedule of activities, textbook information, and important dates. If chat sessions are mandatory, be sure to list dates so students can adjust their schedules.

To learn more, see Creating Content in a Course Area.

My Coach Create profiles for yourself, other instructors, teaching assistants, and guest lecturers participating in your course in My Coach. Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, office hours, and location.

To learn more, see Contacts.

My Grades Students can see the status of gradable items such as assignments, tests, blog entries, and discussion posts on their My Grades pages.

To learn more, see My Grades.

Tools Give students access to all available course tools on a single page. Add commonly used course tools to the course menu for easy access.

To learn more, see Managing Tool Availability.

Help Blackboard Help contains searchable how-to information. Students in need of additional assistance should contact the institution's computing help desk.

Customize the course structure by renaming, removing, hiding, or adding content areas and links to tools.