Johns Hopkins School of Education offers this concise description of the goals and benefits of cooperative learning. They acknowledge that the approach has drawn criticism and they counter it by pointing out, “…this is not a way for teachers to ‘get off the hook’ as students work in groups while the teacher corrects papers! It is not a way for teachers to address the needs of ‘gifted’ students by continually putting them in charge of learning groups. It is a way for students to learn essential interpersonal life-skills and to develop the ability to work collaboratively– a skill now greatly in demand in the workplace.”

Regarding criticisms about evaluating “group work,” points out that, “Students are rewarded as a team but are graded individually; The team’s success is not conditionally based on individual performance of one student; All students must help each other to achieve learning goals; All students are expected to improve based on their own previous performance, thus ensuring all students are challenged to do their best.” (