This paper discusses the instructional and prosocial research traditions in the study of peer interaction. It specifically examines the effect of the cooperative task, and whether helping behavior is initiated by the student or by the teacher, on the level of elaboration in peer interaction. Tasks that require students to work together produce higher levels of elaboration (application, evaluation) than do tasks that require students only to pool their individual efforts or share resources (characterized by information exchange). Ways to design tasks that promote high-level elaboration are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas