With an increasing awareness that many undergraduates are passive during teaching sessions, calls for instructional methods that allow students to become actively engaged have increased. Cooperative learning has long been popular at the primary and secondary level and, within recent years, higher education. However, empirical evidence of the impact of cooperative learning at the university level is still limited. This study reports the result of a quasi-experimental real-life intervention with cooperative learning in an undergraduate course. In-class participation and student approaches to learning were measured before and after the intervention to assess the impact on 140 students’ engagement levels. In addition, open-ended comments were analysed, revealing what faculty adopting cooperative learning principles in higher education should be especially aware of.