Friday, October 7, 2011

Instructional Strategies and the social learning theory

The social learning theory is the vision that individuals comprehend/learn by monitoring others.  It’s also said that students are actively engaged in developing meaning in developing meaning while conversing with peers and interacting with their surroundings. (Laureate Edition, Inc., 2011).

Cooperative learning is one instructional strategy discussed in this week’s discussion and it supports the social learning theory. Cooperative learning is an approach to organizing classroom activities into academic and social learning experiences. Technology can help cooperative learning to be more effective. When I give students a cooperative learning project more than likely students decide to create PowerPoint Presentations where their research is Internet based. The assignment that I love to give the most is when I assign students to research 3 famous people, tell their history, and their role in the community. After research students will work together to present a group presentation. I think PowerPoint presentation is a good group tool mainly because students have the opportunity to collaborate their ideas into one slide and make it one complete thought. Also, technology can be a vital tool used in the classroom to incorporate cooperative leaning. In my classroom students use TV’s and camera’s to have online class with students from other districts, this gives them a great opportunity to hear other student’s ideas and be able to compare those ideas to their own. Our course text talked about students creating websites, social bookmarking, web-based multiplayer games, and blogs as ways to boost social interactions amongst students. The tools listed above can be incorporated in instruction to boost cooperative learning and reinforce social skills that 21st century students need to succeed in the world today.


  1. Jason Hoffman’s response to Byron
    Some of the more successful lessons that I have seen are ones that haved allowed students to use technology to share information. PowerPoints and social networking technology provides students with tools that are far superior to those of the past. I can remember in sixth grade holding up a shoebox scene or a poster colored in crayon. Trying to stand in front of a class and do a report with limited visuals was brutal. Students today can customize their reports with photos, graphs, voice threads, and so many other formats for sharing information. Technology in the classroom is changing on a monthly basis these days. It makes being an educator both exciting and much more difficult. Keeping up with all the possibilities can be a full time job in itself, but it is worth it if it benefits the students and makes learning a little more interesting.

  2. Byron,

    I agree that students love to use PowerPoint. My third graders have already used the tool twice this year and have asked when they get to make another project using PowerPoint. I am getting ready to have my students use a wiki, in cooperative groups, to work on an animal report. I hope the response to using the tool is as positive.

    I think it is interesting that your district has online classes with students from other school districts. Do you teach high school? What types of classes do they have the opportunity to work cooperatively with classes outside their own building? Does it happen during the school day? I think this sounds like a wonderful opportunity and would love to know more.

    I have Skyped with another third grade class in Orange County, California and we have done various activities together but what your school does sounds like a step up from that. My students loved learning about the differences but yet also the similarities of other students across the United States.

  3. Joanne to Byron

    Cooperative learning is a powerful tool for student learning. I am going to implement the creation of a class Wiki for my Foundation of Geometry students. These are students who have struggled in math and did not do well in algebra I. There is also a higher absenteeism rate in these classes.

    I hope by creating a class Wiki where students are responsible for posting what was learned and examples for each day it will help with their learning as well as be a place where absent students know to go for missed information.

    The best site for Web 2.0 tools for both teacher and student use is They also provide video tutorials for many of the tools.

    Joanne C.

  4. Byron,

    Cooperative learning is an effective tool for allowing students to construct knowledge in a social environment. This alone will prepare students for a global workforce that will demand collaboration and diversity. "The research on cooperative learning is like a diamond. The more light you focus on it, the brighter and more multifaceted it becomes. The power of cooperative learning is brightened by the magnitude of its effect sizes, but the more you read the research and examine the studies, the better cooperative learning looks."


    Johnson, David W., Roger T. Johnson, & Karl A. Smith, "Cooperative Learning Returns To College: What Evidence Is There That It Works?" Change, July/August 1998, p. 27-35.