It is possible to make distinctions between the types of group work. They all share the social aspect of the learning space in terms of interacting with fellow students with a similar goal in mind. However, cooperative learning is structured, with sharing of materials and ideas, with the intention of learning something together (Slavin, 2010). On the other hand, collaborative learning is based more of coming together of various aspects of a task which they have been allocated. And thirdly, group work may be a combination of these; however less structured which can cause issues with work load and so on. However, they are still all working on a common task, just in various ways. Cooperative learning appears to be the most effective as it encourages all students to participate in a very highly structured manner, promoting learning to occur and perhaps dodging some of the issues related to group work (Slavin, 2010). I believe that students gain a lot from working in group work which is structured like Cooperative learning as each individual is responsible for contributing to the group work. If not they may let the team down, which is a great tool fro motivating so students. Also the idea that students can bounce knowledge and opinions between each other, encouraging rich learning to occur.
Slavin, R. (2010). Co-operative learning: what makes group-work work? The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice, OECD Publishing.