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Effects of collaborative group composition and inquiry instruction on reasoning gains and achievement in undergraduate biology.

Jensen JL, Lawson A - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Bottom Line: Inquiry instruction, as a whole, led to significantly greater gains in reasoning ability and achievement.Low-reasoning students made significantly greater reasoning gains within inquiry instruction when grouped with other low reasoners than when grouped with either medium or high reasoners.Results are consistent with equilibration theory, supporting the idea that students benefit from the opportunity for self-regulation without the guidance or direction of a more capable peer.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA. jamie.jensen@byu.edu

ABSTRACT
This study compared the effectiveness of collaborative group composition and instructional method on reasoning gains and achievement in college biology. Based on initial student reasoning ability (i.e., low, medium, or high), students were assigned to either homogeneous or heterogeneous collaborative groups within either inquiry or didactic instruction. Achievement and reasoning gains were assessed at the end of the semester. Inquiry instruction, as a whole, led to significantly greater gains in reasoning ability and achievement. Inquiry instruction also led to greater confidence and more positive attitudes toward collaboration. Low-reasoning students made significantly greater reasoning gains within inquiry instruction when grouped with other low reasoners than when grouped with either medium or high reasoners. Results are consistent with equilibration theory, supporting the idea that students benefit from the opportunity for self-regulation without the guidance or direction of a more capable peer.

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Attitudes analyses showed that (a) the amount of group functioning occurring is a significant predictor of the amount of helping behaviors that occurred within groups (r2 = 0.18, n = 144, p < 0.001) and (b) the amount of helping behaviors is a significant predictor of the overall achievement in the course (r2 = 0.04, n = 142, p = 0.02). Group functioning and helping behavior scores were obtained through a survey at the end of the course. Achievement scores were obtained on a common comprehensive final exam.
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Figure 4: Attitudes analyses showed that (a) the amount of group functioning occurring is a significant predictor of the amount of helping behaviors that occurred within groups (r2 = 0.18, n = 144, p < 0.001) and (b) the amount of helping behaviors is a significant predictor of the overall achievement in the course (r2 = 0.04, n = 142, p = 0.02). Group functioning and helping behavior scores were obtained through a survey at the end of the course. Achievement scores were obtained on a common comprehensive final exam.

Mentions: The attitudes survey revealed a significant positive correlation between the group functioning score of each group and the amount of helping behaviors that occurred within that group (n = 144; r = 0.42, r2 = 0.18, p < 0.01; see Figure 4). Although not strong, there was also a significant positive correlation between the amount of helping behaviors in the group and average achievement for group members (n = 142; r = 0.19, r2 = 0.04, p = 0.02; see Figure 4).


Effects of collaborative group composition and inquiry instruction on reasoning gains and achievement in undergraduate biology.

Jensen JL, Lawson A - CBE Life Sci Educ (2011)

Attitudes analyses showed that (a) the amount of group functioning occurring is a significant predictor of the amount of helping behaviors that occurred within groups (r2 = 0.18, n = 144, p < 0.001) and (b) the amount of helping behaviors is a significant predictor of the overall achievement in the course (r2 = 0.04, n = 142, p = 0.02). Group functioning and helping behavior scores were obtained through a survey at the end of the course. Achievement scores were obtained on a common comprehensive final exam.
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3046889&req=5

Figure 4: Attitudes analyses showed that (a) the amount of group functioning occurring is a significant predictor of the amount of helping behaviors that occurred within groups (r2 = 0.18, n = 144, p < 0.001) and (b) the amount of helping behaviors is a significant predictor of the overall achievement in the course (r2 = 0.04, n = 142, p = 0.02). Group functioning and helping behavior scores were obtained through a survey at the end of the course. Achievement scores were obtained on a common comprehensive final exam.
Mentions: The attitudes survey revealed a significant positive correlation between the group functioning score of each group and the amount of helping behaviors that occurred within that group (n = 144; r = 0.42, r2 = 0.18, p < 0.01; see Figure 4). Although not strong, there was also a significant positive correlation between the amount of helping behaviors in the group and average achievement for group members (n = 142; r = 0.19, r2 = 0.04, p = 0.02; see Figure 4).

Bottom Line: Inquiry instruction, as a whole, led to significantly greater gains in reasoning ability and achievement.Low-reasoning students made significantly greater reasoning gains within inquiry instruction when grouped with other low reasoners than when grouped with either medium or high reasoners.Results are consistent with equilibration theory, supporting the idea that students benefit from the opportunity for self-regulation without the guidance or direction of a more capable peer.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA. jamie.jensen@byu.edu

ABSTRACT
This study compared the effectiveness of collaborative group composition and instructional method on reasoning gains and achievement in college biology. Based on initial student reasoning ability (i.e., low, medium, or high), students were assigned to either homogeneous or heterogeneous collaborative groups within either inquiry or didactic instruction. Achievement and reasoning gains were assessed at the end of the semester. Inquiry instruction, as a whole, led to significantly greater gains in reasoning ability and achievement. Inquiry instruction also led to greater confidence and more positive attitudes toward collaboration. Low-reasoning students made significantly greater reasoning gains within inquiry instruction when grouped with other low reasoners than when grouped with either medium or high reasoners. Results are consistent with equilibration theory, supporting the idea that students benefit from the opportunity for self-regulation without the guidance or direction of a more capable peer.

Show MeSH