ERIC Number: ED026027
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Learning and Student Interaction in Small Self-Directed College Groups. Final Report.
Beach, Leslie R.
In a self-directed student group, learning activities are controlled and directed by the students themselves. This approach to learning was investigated at Hope College to: (1) explore the amount and patterns of interaction observable in small self-directed groups, (2) assess conditions and events in group interaction which enhance or inhibit learning, and (3) assess other desirable learning outcomes besides course achievement which accompany this approach to learning. All 54 students enrolled in the social psychology course in the 1966 fall semester were randomly divided into groups of 6 to study independently. Following initial pre-testing, course instructions, and distribution of course materials, students were dismissed for the semester except for voluntary group meetings once a week or more and total class meetings with the instructor approximately once every 2 weeks. From behind a one-way mirror the instructor made observations of the groups in action and student assistants conducted Bales Interaction Process Analyses. With other groups in the second semester different categories were used for the interaction analysis and groups were videotaped. It was observed that interaction was plentiful and effective, that there were identifiable factors enhancing or hindering learning, and that the benefits of self-directed study extend beyond the content learning achieved. Findings confirmed the value and productivity of this approach to college learning, and indicated the feasibility of its economy in terms of instructor time and required classroom facilities. (Author/WM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Hope Coll., Holland, MI.