Hooper, Simon, & Hannafin, Michael
The Effects of Group Composition on Achievement, Interaction, and Learning Efficiency During Computer-Based Cooperative Instruction
Penn State University
Effects of cooperative group composition, student ability, and learning accountability on achievement, interaction, and instructional efficiency.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Educational Technology Research and Development
Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 27-40
- Low-ability students interacted more and completed the instruction more efficiently in heterogeneous than in homogenous groups.
- High ability students completed the instruction more efficiently than in heterogeneous groups.
- Cooperation was significantly related to achievement for heterogeneous ability groups, but not, for either homogenous high- or low-ability students.
- A significant and positive overall correlation was found between cooperative interaction and achievement. However, further analysis indicated that the relationship is mediated in part by ability grouping.
- It seems that the quality of the interaction is mediated by both ability ad group composition.
- Ability grouping appears to affect the quality and quantity of the interaction.
- IN larger groups, individual members may have little influence over group behavior, but in dyads members may form a coalition and individual effort may be more highly valued.
- Group composition has important implications, especially when learning gains for one group are achieved at the expense of even small achievement losses for another.
- Heterogeneous grouping provides a supportive learning environment for low-ability students, but that the benefit is partially offset by reduced efficiency for the most able students.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ability Groups, Academic Achievement, Math
Method of Analysis:
Students of a rural predominantly White middle school
Unit of Analysis:
- Sample of 125 sixth - and seventh- grade students selected from a rural, predominantly White, middle school participated in the study.
- Only students with uniformly high or low performance on both the math subsets of a standardized achievement test and a study pretest were included.
- Participation was voluntary and subject to parental consent.
- Method includes a pretest of mathematical order, algebraic substitution and computational precedence. Then the students undergo two training sessions designed to facilitate effective intra-group interaction and cooperation. Then recorders observe classrooms and code data that they observe and create a cooperative score for each student. The posttest consisted of 40 questions divided among fact, application, generalization, and problem solving.
- DV: Achievement, rate of cooperative interaction, and number of embedded quizzes completed.
- IV: Between-subjects factors include: ability (high or low), cooperative group composition (heterogeneous, homogeneous) and accountability (group, individual). Within subject factors: level of questioning (fact, application, generalization, and problem solving), achievement scores, interaction data.
- For the experiment students were assigned by using stratified random sampling to establish heterogeneous and homogenous groups.