Essay Title: 

Cooperative Learning

March 23, 2016 | Author: | Posted in education, pedagogy

Summary

The article Accounting for individual effort in co-operative learning teams ‘ was published in the Journal of Engineering Education in the year 2000 . The authors , Deborah Kaufman , Richard Felder , and Hugh Fuller are members of the Engineering faculty at North Carolina State University . Their study sought to implement auto-rating or peer rating techniques as a supplement to the co-operative learning strategy Co-operative learning theory is defined by the placing of students on teams to work on structured assignments (Neo , 2005 ,

. 221 Johnson Johnson Smith , 1991 , cited in Neo , 2005 . The [banner_entry_middle]

conditions in which students work are subjected to meeting certain criteria that include the following : accountability , personal interaction , constructive interdependence and collaboration , and regular /structured assessment The benefits of co-operative learning are several : improved cognitive skills , enhanced information retention , self confidence , etc (Johnson Johnson Smith , 1998

However , it has been widely observed by experts that such a theory produces better and more accurate results if students are students grades are awarded after some adjustment has been made to the team grade (Kaufman , Felder Fuller , 2000 ,

. 2 . In fact , one such expert has remarked that co-operative learning should be informed by multiple relevant and contextualised theories , philosophies and approaches enabling practitioners to make sense of why and how particular techniques should be employed to mediate learning (Bitzer , 2001

Self- and peer-rating techniques have been proposed as a possible solution , but critics have asserted that students tend to demonstrate behaviours that bring auto-rating techniques into question . The behaviours include biases and consensual grade-giving , and as a result the research was undertaken to study the behaviours of students in co-operative learning contexts where they were required to rate their peers . Using an auto-rating technique developed by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Brown , 1995 , the researchers were able to determine that fears regarding students ‘ misconduct when awarding grades to peers were unwarranted . Students were apt to give fair grades to their peers , and any deviations among grades given to the same student by different members were usually found to be statistically insignificant (Kaufman , Felder Fuller , 2000 ,

. 16 . Deflated self ratings were more common than inflated self-ratings , demonstrating that students were found to possess a high level of integrity when grading themselves (2000 ,

. 16 . There was some evidence that students were apt to give lower grades based on personal biases . However , other factors (such as prior knowledge and actual merit ) showed high correlations with the low grades given , making it more likely that the perceived personal bias was actually not a major factor (2000 ,

. 16

Methodology

Students were placed in teams or groups in which they met regularly to work on homework problems . The study focused on allowing the students to rate themselves and their group members on their level of participation It involved two chemical engineering classes : CHE 205 and CHE 225 . In both classes , students were separated into groups of four , and selections were made by professors and teaching assistants in that each group would be… [banner_entry_footer]

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