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Transversal skills development through cooperative learning. Training teachers for the future

Natalia Larraz (Department of Psychology and Sociology, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Sandra Vázquez (Universidad de Zaragoza, Department of Educational Sciences, Zaragoza, Spain)
Marta Liesa (Universidad de Zaragoza, Department of Educational Sciences, Zaragoza, Spain)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this study is to analyze and assess the impact of cooperative learning in the acquisition of generic skills in teaching students.


The methodology underlying this research has a qualitative orientation. An ad hoc questionnaire has been used as an instrument, in addition to a team notebook, and the observation as procedure to analyze the perceptions of the students in the process.


The main results indicate that thanks to the active methodologies, more specifically, the cooperative learning, students develop and improve transferable skills, such as negotiation, leadership, teamwork, reflection, etc. Similarly, the authors have observed improvements in the classroom environment and their social interactions.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations and possible implications of this study are in the direction of analyzing the implemented cooperative learning methodology techniques to observe the existence of differences in learning. Moreover, they are also related to the analyzing of individual implications for teamwork to assess group learning and its influence on motivation and teamwork. Finally, they are related to the analysis of the involvement of observation and self-regulatory mechanisms in the teamwork learning.

Practical implications

With this research, the authors incise in the necessary methodological change in universities, responding to the demands of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and highlight the importance of using active methodologies.

Social implications

Cooperative learning is an effective teacher training tool for future teachers who will have to develop in an interpersonal context and, in turn, will teach students who need to acquire a personal and social skills.


This paper evaluates the impact of using active methodologies and how they contribute to the development of transversal or generic competencies in a real context of university learning.



Larraz, N., Vázquez, S. and Liesa, M. (2017), "Transversal skills development through cooperative learning. Training teachers for the future", On the Horizon, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 85-95.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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