This text represents a compilation of work completed by Jim Cooper and his colleagues in the Network for Cooperative Learning in higher education over the last fifteen years. The Network and its newsletter, Cooperative Learning and College Teaching, were formed in 1990 with funding provided by a FIPSE grant to Jim. The first part of the text reprints 30 of the best articles in small-group learning in higher education from 1990-1999, articles first published in the newsletter that Jim and Pamela Robinson edited during that time. The articles chosen for this volume include work in research and theory written by Alexander Astin, Joseph Cuseo, Roberta Matthews, Neil Davidson and Barbara Millis. However, the focus of the selected reprints is on applications of active and group learning to college classrooms. Practitioners contributing articles to the volume include Susan Prescott Johnston, Alison King, Mel Silberman, David and Roger Johnson, Karl Smith, Ted Panitz, Barbara Millis and Shlomo Sharan.
Eight new chapters were written specifically for this text, including work by David and Roger Johnson, Spencer Kagan, Barbara Millis, and Jim Mitchell. Topics treated by these authors include small group instruction and brain research, how group work and service learning are natural allies, and how cooperative learning can impact a variety of college experiences, inside and outside of the classroom. Susan Johnston contributes a new chapter on clarity in developing group strategies. Jim Cooper, Pamela Robinson and David Ball offer a chapter in which leaders in higher education teaching and learning respond to survey items concerning the past, present and future of group learning in higher education. Thus, the volume presents a look at the history of small group instruction research, theory and practice and offers a glimpse at the future of this powerful instructional strategy.