In this piece we introduce groups and group work, define some key aspects, and suggest areas for exploration. In particular we focus on the process of working with groups.
What can it look like? Informal cooperative learning groups In informal cooperative learning, small, temporary, ad-hoc groups of two to four students work together for brief periods in a class, typically up to one class period, to answer questions or respond to prompts posed by the instructor.
This video shows an example of informal cooperative learning in a large class taught by Tessa Andrews at the University of Georgia: Additional examples of ways to structure informal group work are given in the table below.
Formal cooperative learning groups In formal cooperative learning students work together for one or more class periods to complete a joint task or assignment Johnson et al.
There are several features that can help these groups work well: The instructor defines the learning objectives for the activity and assigns students to groups. The groups are typically heterogeneous, with particular attention to the skills that are needed for success in the task.
Within the groups, students may be assigned specific roles, with the instructor communicating the criteria for success and the types of social skills that will be needed. Instructors also encourage groups to reflect on their interactions to identify potential improvements for future group work.
There are many more specific types of group work that fall under the general descriptions given here, including team-based learningproblem-based learningand process-oriented guided inquiry learning. The use of cooperative learning groups in instruction is based on the principle of constructivism, with particular attention to the contribution that social interaction can make.
In essence, constructivism rests on the idea that individuals learn through building their own knowledge, connecting new ideas and experiences to existing knowledge and experiences to form new or enhanced understanding Bransford, et al.
Lev Vygotsky extended this work by examining the relationship between cognitive processes and social activities, developing the sociocultural theory of development. The sociocultural theory of development suggests that learning takes place when students solve problems beyond their current developmental level with the support of their instructor or their peers.
Thus both the idea of a zone of proximal development, supported by positive group interdependence, is the basis of cooperative learning Davidson and Major, ; Johnson, et al. Cooperative learning follows this idea as groups work together to learn or solve a problem, with each individual responsible for understanding all aspects.
The small groups are essential to this process because students are able to both be heard and to hear their peers, while in a traditional classroom setting students may spend more time listening to what the instructor says. Cooperative learning uses both goal interdependence and resource interdependence to ensure interaction and communication among group members.
Changing the role of the instructor from lecturing to facilitating the groups helps foster this social environment for students to learn through interaction. Is there evidence that it works? David Johnson, Roger Johnson, and Karl Smith performed a meta-analysis of studies comparing cooperative learning to competitive learning and individualistic learning in college students Johnson et al.
They found that cooperative learning produced greater academic achievement than both competitive learning and individualistic learning across the studies, exhibiting a mean weighted effect size of 0. In essence, these results indicate that cooperative learning increases student academic performance by approximately one-half of a standard deviation when compared to non-cooperative learning models, an effect that is considered moderate.
Importantly, the academic achievement measures were defined in each study, and ranged from lower-level cognitive tasks e. The meta-analysis also showed substantial effects on other metrics, including self-esteem and positive attitudes about learning.
George Kuh and colleagues also conclude that cooperative group learning promotes student engagement and academic performance Kuh et al.
Springer, Stanne, and Donovan confirmed these results in their meta-analysis of 39 studies in university STEM classrooms. They found that students who participated in various types of small-group learning, ranging from extended formal interactions to brief informal interactions, had greater academic achievement, exhibited more favorable attitudes towards learning, and had increased persistence through STEM courses than students who did not participate in STEM small-group learning.
The box below summarizes three individual studies examining the effects of cooperative learning groups. What are approaches that can help make group work effective?Check Out Our Evaluation of Group Process Essay.
In our case, we shared the assignment among the six members where each was required to research on a given theory. In addition, leaders emerge from within the group who plays vital role in group processes.
Therefore, we chose one of us to be the overall in delegating duties and . What is groupwork? What is groupwork? However, even more significant than this for group process, Lewin argued, is some interdependence in the goals of group members. To get something done it is often necessary to cooperate with others.
Group Theory and Group Skills 12e. New York: Pearson. Klein, Alan (). Group Graphics ® Keyboard and Tools: My initial way of understanding process theory in the study group was to apply it to what I knew intimately-group process and graphics.
In a short period of time I had discovered the deep structure of visual language and formulated a Group Graphics system of formats for facilitating meetings that we still.
A definition of a group will be given in the first part of the essay and what the principles of group work are. In the second part some models of group processes will be explored and what their relevance is to the specific group, such as Bruce Tuckman's model and Dorothy Stock Whitakers Model.
acquired trait: A phenotypic characteristic, acquired during growth and development, that is not genetically based and therefore cannot be passed on to the next generation (for example, the large.
As health care professionals it is essential that Registered Nurses use well developed and tested theories to guide their practice.
As put by McEwen (, p) “Theory provides the basis of understanding the reality of nursing; it enables the nurse to understand why an event happens.