Co-operative learning & in-depth projects


Aim: For the pupils to learn through teaching others. The pupils should be able to teach a small group of pupils about the in-depth project (ptf) they are currently working on, with the end result being that pupils not working on this project should have gained a basic understanding, and be able to answer questions on each of the other projects.

Example: The VG1 Electricity and Electronics pupils at Åssiden Upper Secondary School are able to choose from in-depth projects in automation, electrical power, light sound and image, and computers and electronics. The pupils from each in-depth project group sit together and discuss the work they've been doing. Then new groups are formed, with one pupil from each project group. Pupils from each of these four projects explain what they've been working on so that the other pupils gain some understanding of what this in-depth project is about. All pupils should, eventually, be able to answer questions about each in-depth project, not just their own.

Creative Commons Licence This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. Photo belongs to DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library.


  • Find out which in-depth project each pupil is studying. This exercise will work best in classes which have roughly equal numbers of pupils per in-depth project.

  • Ask the pupils to sit together in groups according to which in-depth project they are taking. They should discuss the project together, help each other which technical vocabulary and pick out key facts to pass on. The teacher could give suggestions of topics / focus areas, based on the questions to be asked later.

  • Then create new groups. If there are four different in-depth projects available for the class, divide the class into groups of four, ideally with one representative from each of the different in-depth projects.

  • Each pupil takes it in turns to present his / her in-depth project to the group, other pupils should listen and take notes.

  • The pupils return to their original groups and discuss what they have learnt about the three 'other' projects.
  • The teacher should ask questions, based on a list written in advance with the help of each relevant in-depth project teacher. Or the pupils could just be asked to explain what a project they are not currently studying is all about.

  • Pupils can assess their own skills as teachers and the abilities of their fellow pupils.

  • Depending on how much time the teacher has, he may choose to:
  1. Ask individuals questions about one of the three projects that they are not currently working on.
  2. Ask the group to choose a project (not their own) and present this to the class / teacher.
  3. Give the pupils a number of written questions about a project they have learnt about.
  4. Give the pupils the choice of writing a text explaining what one of the 'other three' projects is about.

Spoken assessment (without grade) of pupils' ability to answer questions individually or as a group.

Written assessment (with / without grade) of pupils' ability to write answers to questions or write a text on a project they have been taught about.

Self-assessment: the pupils complete a survey on their own teaching abilities.