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In recent years, interest in teamwork in the workplace has increased noticeably. For technical educators, the implications of this emphasis on employee involvement and cooperation are clear: they should begin developing the requisite skills in their students before they enter the work force. The skill sets that are needed--in effective communications, leadership, and decision making--can be effectively developed in the context of current courses. Once the decision for cooperative learning has been made, a series of practical issues must be dealt with--figuring out how to restructure classroom activities to conform with this general ideal. The practical decisions about restructuring a course can be greatly aided by conversations with colleagues. The handful of published guidelines for implementing collaborative techniques in the college classroom includes the following: a special issue on higher education of Cooperative Learning magazine; a volume by Johnson, Johnson, and Smith (1991) that is a source of practical ideas; and a how-to volume on cooperative learning published by the National Center for Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. The next step is to work on the syllabus--what needs to be changed, the amount of material that can be covered, and what kinds of activities groups will be working on. (Contains 12 references.) (YLB)

Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Group Activities, Group Dynamics, Higher Education, Intergroup Relations, Interpersonal Relationship, Program Implementation, Team Training, Teamwork, Technical Education

Autor: Magney, John


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