Journal of Behavioral Education

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 37–50 | Cite as

Cooperative Learning Groups at the College Level: Differential Effects on High, Average, and Low Exam Performers

Article

Abstract

A repeated-measures mixed-design was used in examining the effects of cooperative learning study teams on exam performance for 378 undergraduate students enrolled in one of 10 large sections of an introductory educational psychology course over a two-semester period. Students were assigned to 5-member cooperative groups based on previous exam achievement (low, average, high). Bonuses (20% of exam score) were offered to groups who improved their mean exam performance to a pre-established criterion in the cooperative-group phase. Results yielded an overall effect size of 0.42 for cooperative study versus individual study. Students who had obtained low and average scores on the preceding exam improved significantly during cooperative study, but the previously high achievers decreased somewhat.

cooperative learning reward contingency post-secondary education academic achievement mixed design 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCE

  1. Bruffee, K. A.(1999).Collaborative learning: Higher Education, interdependence, and the authority of knowledge (2nd ed.).Baltimore:Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cooper, J. L., & Robinson, P. (2000). The argument for making large classes seem small. In J. MacGregor, J. L. Cooper, K. A. Smith, & P. Robinson (Eds.), Strategies for energizing large classes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 81. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  3. Hampton, D. R., & Grudnitski, G. (1996). Does cooperative learning mean equal learning? Journal of Education for Business, 7, 5-17.Google Scholar
  4. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1992, October). What to say to advocates for the gifted. Educational Leadership, 50, 44-47.Google Scholar
  5. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1994). Learning together and alone (4th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  6. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Smith, K. A. (1998).Cooperative learning returns to college. Change, 30(4), 26-35.Google Scholar
  7. Kelshaw-Levering, K., Sterling-Turner, H. E., Henry, J. R., & Skinner, C. H. (2000). Randomized interdependent group contingencies: Group reinforcement with a twist. Psychology in the Schools, 37, 523-533.Google Scholar
  8. Kennett, D. J., & Young, A. M. (1999). Is cooperative learning effective for high achieving entrance students? Implications for policy and teaching resources. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 33, 27-35.Google Scholar
  9. MacGregor, J., Cooper, J. L., Smith, K. A., & Robinson, P. (Eds.). (2000). Strategies for energizing large classes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 81. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  10. McDaniel, E. A., & Colarulli, G. C. (1997). Collaborative teaching in the face of productivity concerns: The dispersed team model. Innovative Higher Education, 22, 19-36.Google Scholar
  11. Piaget, J. (1926). The language and thought of the child. New York: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
  12. Skinner, C. H., Cashwell, C. S., & Dunn, M. S. (1996). Independent and interdependent group contingencies: Smoothing the rough waters. Special Services in the Schools, 12, 61-78.Google Scholar
  13. Slavin, R. E. (1987). Developmental and motivational perspectives on cooperative learning: A reconciliation. Child Development, 55, 1161-1167.Google Scholar
  14. Slavin, R. E. (1994). Using student team learning (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Social Organization of Schools.Google Scholar
  15. Slavin, R. E. (1995). Cooperative learning: Theory, research and practice (2nd ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  16. Slavin, R. E. (1996a). Cooperative learning in middle and secondary schools. The Clearing House, 4, 200-210.Google Scholar
  17. Slavin, R. E. (1996b). Research on cooperative learning and achievement: What we know, what we need to know. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 21(1), 43-69.Google Scholar
  18. Springer, L., Stanne, M. E., & Donovan, S. S. (1999). Effects of small-group learning on undergraduates in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 69, 21-51.Google Scholar
  19. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Wallace, M. A., & Williams, R. L. (2003). Multiple-choice exams: Explanations for student choices. Teaching of Psychology, 30, 136-138.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Secondary and Middle Grades EducationKennesaw State UniversityKennesaw
  2. 2.Department of Educational Psychology and CounselingUniversity of TennesseeKnoxville

Personalised recommendations