Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cooperative Learning, Social Learning Theory and Resources

In Using classroom technology that works (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007), I read about the strategy of cooperative learning (chapter 7). According to the text, in order “to be prepared for the fast-paced, virtual workplace that they will inherit, today’s students need to be able to learn and produce cooperatively” (p. 139). This is consistent with social learning theories, which involve collaborative and cooperative learning (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). There were a number of resources that I found helpful.

One resource was, which is the original WebQuest site. I performed a search for energy and found several options that would work in my classroom. I have used WebQuests often but I generally create them myself so they are targeted to what I want my students to see. I include links to videos and simulations and pose questions for students to investigate. However, I do not usually have a final product other than the answers to the questions. I think turning this process into a collaborative effort with an end product would yield more success. Students would be able to talk about what they’re seeing and work together to create something of their own.

Another resource I found helpful was The University of Wisconsin, Stout’s collection of ready-to-use rubrics. There are rubrics for everything relating to cooperative learning from Power Points to Video Projects. I want to use rubrics more but I always have trouble making them. I am excited to find the work has been done for me!

Which resources are you most excited about?


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


  1. Holly,
    First, I'd like to say your precious salts voicethread was really professional. I think your students would be impressed. Have you presented this in your classroom yet? Or have you posed this type of dilemma in a PowerPoint for them?
    To answer your question, I think Voicethread and Concept Mapping are both creative tools for my students. I could see concept mapping as a one period lesson plan with creative results for most any student. I like Voicethread because it seems like an improved PowerPoint or Keynote. Adding your voice gives this program a fun new aspect of peer collaboration.
    Thank you for mentioning a rubric resource. It is nice to have a website other than Rubistar to access and work in.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I did present this in the classroom and my students were really motivated by the "mission" they had been assigned. They also gave me some feedback...apparently the music was "a little too intense", haha.

  2. I like you idea for creating webquests. The ones that are provided will definitely save time, but that you create your own makes them specifically geared for what you need your students to learn. One collaborative tool that I find to be a great way for students to discuss is the use of Edmodo. It is similar to Facebook. Have you considered using something like this in order for students to discuss what they have learned during the webquest?

    The use of VoiceThread would also be a great way for a small group of your students to explain what they have learned during the webquest. They could gather images and add voice recordings to respond to your questions.

    1. I just signed up for Edmodo after our librarian showed me last week. It looks fantastic and I can't wait to play around with it! Thank you for the comment.

  3. Holly,

    Thank you for the rubric site! I am always looking for ways to save time. I also like Webquest and think the resource is easy to use and also I enjoyed viewing webquests that were already created by other educators. I found one on cloning that was really well done. Again, it can save us time in our busy profession! Thank you for the awesome voice thread- it is really well done!


  4. Holly-

    I also want to say thank you for the rubric website! I am like you and have difficulty creating rubrics! I like to pick and choose from pre-made rubrics to make rubrics that work for my classroom!

    Thanks for the resource!