Comparison of situated cognition and cooperative learning

Learning Theory Comparison Paper: Cooperative and Situated Cognition
Cooperative learning: According to Johnson, Johnson & Stanne 2000, “cooperative learning exists when students work together to accomplish shared learning goals”.
Situated cognition: Brown et al, 1989 believe that” knowledge is situated, being in part a product of the activity, context, and culture in which it is developed and used”. Situated cognition is closely related to problem based learning which according to Hung (2002) can be used as instructional processes.
Pros / Cons
- Both have Social benefits to learners
- Group collaboration and interaction
- Promotes learning autonomy
- Situated cognition attaches learning to real life situations.
- Teachers need to monitor closely for effectiveness
- Integrate design to curriculum with audience in mind
- Assigned roles may lead to expatriate in individual areas than other areas

Strength and weaknesses
Researches on cooperative learning have found that it is used in several subject areas and in a wide range of grade levels in different schools and countries all over the world .According to (Slavin 1995) Cooperative learning encourage learning in a cooperative social environment. They found that million teachers in different learning environments have successfully used cooperative learning using different methods. One commonly use method is assigning students according to the group performance. Group members become motivated to teach each other the different concepts in order to succeed as a group. These motivations help to reinforce academic norms efforts to succeed. Working together gives group members the opportunity to show social concern for each other as they learn together. Task specialization is strength in the sense that it promotes independence and expatriate in assigned roles. On the other hand, this can also be a weakness in that, when cooperative learning styles like Jigsaw which includes assign roles is used, students turn to have little or no exposure to other materials other than what they are assigned.
Pedagogical Implications to instructional design
Considering the fact that situated cognition considers learning to be a joint system, teachers need to design instructions and technology use according to the environment in which learning is taking place. We have to take into consideration the context, persons, culture, and language as a whole system that goes hand in hand. Teachers also have to understand that situated cognition cannot be separated with problem based learning. These two gives the learner a chance to investigate a true life problem which needs to be solved. Teachers need to try to associate knowledge acquired in classroom with life outside the school. Another pedagogical implication to this theory is that class work together to develop strategies to solve problems. The teacher is not the one dictating or developing the answers to the problem. When designing cooperative learning activities, you have to have in mind the dynamics of your audience and their needs. Group student’s according to their abilities and learning styles. Assign roles and hold students accountable for their own learning.

By Brendabell


By definition, an advanced organizer is a tool used by an instructional designer to help the learner recall and transfer prior knowledge to the new information being presented. In theory, David Ausubel was one of the developers of advanced organizers and theorized that advanced organizers facilitated learning.


1. Word Web
2. Sequence Chart
3. Individualized Graphic Organizers
4. Picture Webs


Implementation must occur in a cohesive format to have a positive impact on student learning. The learner is taught organizational skills when using graphic organizers within the lesson. Implementation needs to occur after the learner has been introduced to the content of the lesson.

The instructional designer needs to understand three principles when implementing graphic organizer in a lesson.

Consistent - Be consistent when using graphic organizers in the instructional design of a lesson.

Coherent - Be coherent when preparing a lesson, so the organizer is clear and precise.

Creative - Be creative when presenting the lesson to capture the attention of the learner.


Baxendell, B. W. (2003). Consistent, coherent, creative the 3 c's of graphic organizers. Teaching Exceptional Children , 35 (3), 46-53. Retrieved from

Rickards, J. P., & McCormick, C. B. (1977). Whole versus part presentation of advance organizers in text. Journal of Educational Research, 70(3), 147-149. Retrieved from

Story, C. M. (1998). What instructional designers need to know about advance organizers. Internaltionla Journal of Instructional Media, 25(3), 253-261. Retrieved from]

Created by:Tama Exsted and Tyler Pulkkinen