Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 87–100

Collegiality in the classroom: The use of Peer Learning Assistants in cooperative learning in introductory biology

  • James E. Groccia
  • Judith E. Miller

DOI: 10.1007/BF01243700

Cite this article as:
Groccia, J.E. & Miller, J.E. Innov High Educ (1996) 21: 87. doi:10.1007/BF01243700


Experienced undergraduate students served as Peer Learning Assistants (PLAs) to facilitate group process and dynamics in cooperative learning groups. The use of this model in large classes (150 students) resulted in statistically significant improvements in group performance and satisfaction with the group experience. PLAs defused conflict in groups which were, by their cognitively diverse nature, conflict-prone. Student attitudes about their PLAs and PLA attitudes about the experience were positive. Faculty productivity was substantially enhanced because group dynamics problems rarely landed in the faculty office.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Groccia
  • Judith E. Miller

There are no affiliations available