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Examining the complex dynamics of learning in cooperative small groups : the relationship between student attitudes, group behaviours, and academic achievement

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Examining the complex dynamics of learning in cooperative small groups : the relationship between student attitudes, group behaviours, and academic achievement

Kouros, Christina (2005) Examining the complex dynamics of learning in cooperative small groups : the relationship between student attitudes, group behaviours, and academic achievement. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Based on the volumes of research demonstrating the cognitive and affective benefits of cooperation, small group strategies are increasingly being implemented in classrooms. However, in order for learning to be enhanced in the small group environment, there has to be clearer understanding of the complex dynamics that operate when students work together. The purpose of this study was to investigate how student attitudes toward small group learning and group behaviours influence learning. A main goal of this study was to validate the Student Attitudes toward Group Environments (SAGE) questionnaire that tapped areas of small group learning not addressed by other inventories. The findings indicated that the SAGE questionnaire is a valuable instrument for it serves both as a diagnostic measure and as a predictive measure. There were two significant predictors that explained 13.3% of the variance in student final grades; the attitudinal factor quality of product and process and the behavioural factor seeking content information. Overall, high school and CEGEP students had positive attitudes toward learning with fellow classmates. However, students wanted the freedom to select their group members, and group evaluation and division of task elicited diverse views. This information is critical for small group researchers and educators who are interested in knowing the underlying processes that influence academic achievement and success in cooperative groups.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Kouros, Christina
Pagination:ix, 243 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Abrami, Philip
ID Code:8856
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:37
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:37
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