Enhancing problem-solving skills and motivation through cooperative learning
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The present research aims at showing the significance of active involvement into learning for boosting academic achievement, through exposing postgraduate students of the Department of Geology of the University Mentouri Brothers at Constantine to a problemsolving and cooperative learning training program, which includes a combination of activities, such as team building, and thought-provoking activities. We intend to get learners actively involved into thought-provoking tasks, which necessitate the application of problem-solving skills, and cooperation, then see the effect of training program on learners’ academic performance. The general objective which steers the entire research is that learners learn better through hands-on activities which are particularly designed to enhance problem-solving skills and cooperative learning. Cooperative problem-solving provides learners with genuine opportunities to explore and practice problem-solving skills, namely deductive reasoning skills, and inductive reasoning skills within cooperative learning environment. Learners foster cooperative learning skills such as positive interdependence, face-to-face interaction, communication, and team working while dealing with issues which require deep thinking, and problem-solving skills. Our research design studies the effect of training program on learners’ learning; the results obtained show a difference in learners’ learning performance due to an exposure to a set of cooperative problem-solving activities, compared with their performance before being trained to do cooperative problem-solving activities, thus supporting the hypothesis of the present research. So, cooperative learning is directed toward getting learners engaged into exploring, employing and therefore improving their cooperative problem-solving skills; hence, active involvement into learning can actually be deemed as the cornerstone of effective and meaningful learning.