Relevance of cooperative learning in Health Technology degrees


Relevance of cooperative learning in Health Technology degrees

Pertinencia del aprendizaje cooperativo en las carreras de Tecnología de la Salud


Carmen Juana Burgal Cintra1*
José Antúnez Coca1
Clara Irene Marino Magdariaga1


1Santiago de Cuba University of Medical Sciences. Cuba.


*Author for correspondence. Email:






To the editor:

In the Faculty of Nursing and Health Technology of Santiago de Cuba, a pedagogical research is developed that responds to the doctoral theme: "The teacher's training for the orientation of cooperative learning in Health Technology", according to the authors´ consideration, it´s important given the vertiginous advance of science and technology today.

In order to deepen inside the aforementioned topic, for the writing of this letter, a bibliographical review was made in which different articles were confronted dealing with the cooperative learning category in different contexts; For its relevance, we think it´s appropriate to comment on the one published by the Colombian Alzate Peralta: "Cooperative learning for the social human development of the medical science professional", published in the EDUMECENTRO Journal.(1)

In the new conception of cooperative learning there are frequent changes in the process of formation of new human resources trained in public health and that have been highlighted by this Colombian teacher, among them, the role of the educator in their social interaction with emphasis on the teacher-student / student-teacher dialogue, as an educational way in this formative effort.

In our opinion, in the teaching-learning process different educational models have been inserted that, in their essence, favor teacher-student interaction in the interests of the cognitive development of the latter; It is the responsibility of the teacher to recommend to its students the application of the different learning styles in a role designation that starts from the identification of individual potentialities.(2)

Knowledge is a social process and it´s built from cooperative efforts to learn, understand and solve problems. Ferreiro(3) assures that cooperative learning demands a methodology as an important tool to apply it within the different educational contexts, due to its relevance to intensify the development of skills of different types and nature, attitudes and values.

In our teaching work experience and as researchers we agree with other authors (4,5) that cooperative learning constitutes a significant change in the traditional practices of university teaching, it constitutes a pedagogical model in which students learn with ..., from ... and by other students through a process that facilitates and enhances this positive interaction and interdependence and in which all act as co-trainees.

A correct application of cooperative learning requires from the teacher a change of vision towards different aspects to understand and guide education from the perspective of the learner. For it to succeed there must be five essential elements, according to the study by Johnson et al.: (6) positive interdependence, individual and group responsibility, face-to-face interaction, interpersonal and team practices, and group evaluation; so we could consider that the work is cooperative when:


  • Students learn among themselves.
  • Work with small groups, where each student plays a role.
  • Students recognize their dependencies among themselves.
  • There is individual and group responsibility.
  • They develop social skills.
  • Students reflect on their own effectiveness as a group.


During the research process, advantages have been seen in the application of cooperative learning, the following are highlighted:


  • Increase in group cohesion.
  • Establishment of a safe and relaxed atmosphere among students.
  • Greater contribution to cognitive and socio-affective development.
  • Promotion of autonomy and independence.
  • Increase motivation for learning and compliance with professional goals.
  • Improves academic performance.
  • Allows the use of study techniques for the fulfillment of tasks.
  • It favors the orienting function of the teacher in the group work.


When the teaching-learning process is stimulated by this way of working, it undoubtedly becomes an indispensable mechanism in the apprehension and formation of individual and collective attitudes, according to the integrating educational conception that offers cooperative learning to the students' training process. This favors the consolidation of a coherent attitude towards the problems that are faced in the current context of their professional training.



1. Alzate Peralta LA. Aprendizaje cooperativo para el desarrollo humano social del profesional de las ciencias médicas. EDUMECENTRO [Internet]. 2009 [citado 12/03/2018];1(2):[aprox. 3 p.]. Disponible en:

2. Alzate LA, Trejo F, Martínez O. Orientación de la tarea educativa en el aprendizaje cooperativo asistencial: reflexiones en torno a la inclusión en el proceso de formación de los profesionales de Enfermería. Revista de Investigación, Formación y Desarrollo: Generando Productividad Institucional [Internet]. 2017 [citado 12/03/218];5(1):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en:

3. Ferreiro R. La condición necesaria: el aprendizaje cooperativo. En: Nuevas alternativas de aprender y enseñar: aprendizaje cooperativo. México: Trillas; 2006.

4. Fernández-Río J. Aportaciones del modelo de responsabilidad personal y social al aprendizaje cooperativo. En: IX Congreso Internacional de Actividades Físicas Cooperativas. Vélez-Málaga; 2014. 30 Jun-3 Jul.

5. Palomino Pegalajar MC, Colmenero Ruiz MJ. Percepciones hacia el aprendizaje cooperativo en estudiantes del Grado de Maestro. REDU [Internet]. 2013 [citado 25/03/2018];11(3):[aprox. 19 p.]. Disponible en:

6. Johnson DW, Jhonson RT, Edytbe J. El aprendizaje cooperativo en el aula. Buenos Aires: Paidós Educador; 2004.



Declaración de intereses

The authors declare no conflict of interest.



This article has been published under the license of Creative Commons

Copyright (c) 2019 EDUMECENTRO

Licencia de Creative Commons
Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.