Cooperative learning is a broadly recognised pedagogical approach to group work that promotes socialisation and learning among students. It involves students working in partnership to achieve a common goal, allowing pupils to support and benefit from each other’s knowledge and skills. Furthermore, cooperative learning allows pupils to develop their confidence thus enabling them to gain better individual competency (Gillies, 2016).
For cooperative learning to be effective, pupils must feel motivated to learn and have a feeling of responsibility (Strother, 1990). Johnson and Johnson (1994) argue that for pupils to gain from the cooperative learning experience, two levels of accountability must be structured into the lesson. First, the group must be responsible for achieving its goals and second, individuals must be accountable for contributing to their share of the work. Individual accountability is pivotal in cooperative learning to avoid learner’s free riding (Laal et al, 2013). However, through discussion of personal experiences of cooperative learning with colleagues, it appears that pupils who are given menial tasks, such as the time keeper, as less likely to contribute to all aspects of the group work.
The aim of this Professional Enquiry was to establish whether introducing the role of the reporter at the end of cooperative learning tasks would impact on individual accountability and engagement.