Webb, Noreen, Nemer, Kariane, Chizhik, Alexander, & Sugrue, Bredna
Equity Issues in Collaborative Group Assessment: Group Composition and Performance
Investigated the effects of group ability composition on group processes and outcomes in science performance assessments.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 607-651
- Low ability students who worked with high ability students performed significantly better than did low-ability students who worked with med-high, low-medium, or low-ability students.
- Group ability composition had a major impact on all performance and process variables.
- High ability students generally performed better when they worked in homogeneous groups than when they worked in heterogeneous groups. However the composition of heterogeneous groups was not a factor in high-ability student's performance.
- Students at all ability levels benefit from working with high ability students, but dilemma: The performance of high-and low ability students cannot be optimized at the same time!
- Group composition must be taken into account when interpreting and comparing scores of different students, classrooms or schools.
- Heterogenous groups privde a greater benefit for below-average students than they impose a detriment on high-ability students.
Journal Article Historical Analysis
Ability Groups, Science
Method of Analysis:
7th and 8th grade students from 5 schools in LA
Unit of Analysis:
- 662 7th and 8th grade students (21 classes) from 5 schools in Los Angeles County.
- 6 teachers taught the 21 classes.
- Pretests: Vocabulary, Verbal Reasoning and nonverbal reasoning. After administration of these tests, all teachers conducted a 3-week unit on electricity and electric-circuits in their classrooms. After the end of the instructional unit, students were administered a Hands on test and written (science tests), 3 phases. One month later, with no intervening instruction or review, students were re-administered the same two science tests. Students completed the hands-on test and the written test the next day.
- The testing design had three phases: Phase I (prior to instruction) students completed the verbal and nonverbal pretests individually. Phase II (immediate posttests), students completed the hands-on and written science test individually. Phase III (delayed posttests), students completed the hands-on test again either in collaborative three-person groups or individually (Phase 3a) and completed the written test individually (Phase 3b).
- Coded of videotapes of group discussions and individual behavior of students in groups.
- DV: Science Achievement Test Scores
- IV: Group ability composition