Types of cooperative learning are described, and the importance of this learning approach is stressed. A conceptual approach to cooperative learning has been developed at the University of Minnesota which is characterized by five basic elements: positive interdependence, face-to-face promotive interaction, individual accountability, collaborative skills, and group processing. Work has focussed on applying the research and development of each of the strategies to the college classroom. Cognitive research on how students learn, research on the importance of social support, research on the importance of collaborative skills, and the research on the importance of active involvement to the cooperative learning strategies mentioned above are being integrated and related. It is concluded that implementing cooperative learning in the college classroom would assist in getting students meaningfully involved in learning and focussing attention on active learning to help prepare self-directed, autonomous learners.