‘Cooperative learning can improve students’ employability’
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
COOPERATIVE learning can help make vocational students more employable, said a speaker at Universiti Brunei Darussalam’s (UBD) 18th International Conference on Education 2015 yesterday.
Dk Hjh Marlina Pg Hj Metersad, a teacher from Nakhoda Ragam Vocational School (NVRS), said vocational teachers should incorporate cooperative learning into their lessons as it can make the students more ‘job-ready’.
She explained that cooperative learning is a teaching strategy in which small teams – each comprising students of different levels of academic ability – use a variety of learning activities to improve their understanding of a subject.
During her presentation, Dk Hjh Marlina highlighted the importance of integrating the approach as to increase the employability of the students from vocational instituitions.
“We want to prepare our technical students to be ‘job-ready’ and to be able to enter the workforce with ease,” she said.
“By doing so, we need to focus on a holistic education approach where we apply 21st century skills that emphasise communication skills and critical thinking,” said Dk Hjh Marlina.
She spoke of her three-month study involving a total of 44 students and 55 instructors from NVRS.
The study looked at the effect of cooperative learning on the achievements and attitudes of the students towards learning Mathematics.
Dk Hjh Marlina said the approach encouraged each member of a team to be responsible not only for their own learning but also for helping teammates learn, thus creating an atmosphere of achievement.
Dk Hjh Marlina pointed out that cooperative learning is something that can be achieved via simple methods.
She gave an example of how assigning students struggling in Math with academically advanced students into one group will encourage them to work as a team and learn from one another.
“Cooperative learning is proven to be effective as it helps promote positive relations among different groups of students with different academic abilities... It also establishes an environment where academic accomplishments are valued,” said the teacher.
She added that 90 per cent of the candidates who participated in the survey agreed that cooperative learning was a supportive environment for the development of social skills and learning.
The Brunei Times