Learning Microbiology Through Cooperation: Designing Cooperative Learning Activities that Promote Interdependence, Interaction, and Accountability

Microbiol Educ. 2002 May;3:26-36.

Abstract

A microbiology course and its corresponding learning activities have been structured according to the Cooperative Learning Model. This course, The World According to Microbes, integrates science, math, engineering, and technology (SMET) majors and non-SMET majors into teams of students charged with problem solving activities that are microbial in origin. In this study we describe development of learning activities that utilize key components of Cooperative Learning-positive interdependence, promotive interaction, individual accountability, teamwork skills, and group processing. Assessments and evaluations over an 8-year period demonstrate high retention of key concepts in microbiology and high student satisfaction with the course.