What used to be a lecture has now turned into an open forum for dialogue between students and between students and teachers. Passive students are now active participants in interesting and demanding situations.
In GL classrooms, activities are structured in such a way that students have to explain to each other what they learn. Sometimes, a student gets assigned a specific role inside the team. This way, they can learn from other people's points of view, they can give and receive help from their classmates and help each other research what's being learned.
Terms such as passive, memorization, individual and competitive are not associated with GL (Johnson and Johnson, 1997). On the contrary, the elements that are always present in this type of learning are:
1. Cooperation. The students support each other to accomplish two things: becoming experts in the content and developing group work skills. The students share goals, resources, accomplishments and understanding from each person's role. A student can't be successful unless the whole team is successful.
2. Responsibility. Students are individually responsible for the share of the work they have to do. At the same time, everyone in the team should understand all of the tasks assigned to the rest of the classmates.
3. Communication. The members of the team exchange important information and materials. They help each other efficiently and effectively, offering feedback to improve their future performance, analyzing conclusions and thoughts to get better quality thoughts and results.
4. Team work. The students learn to solve problems together, developing leadership, communication, trust, decision-making and conflict-resolution skills.
5. Self-evaluation. Teams should evaluate which actions have been useful and which haven't. The team members establish goals, evaluate their activities periodically and identify the changes to be done to improve their work in the future.