ERIC Number: ED218642
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jul
Reference Count: 0
A Pitch for Collaborative Learning: Discovering a Paragraph Heuristic.
Mallonee, Barbara C.
Collaborative learning, in which students form small groups to analyze their own writing, can cause students who recognize good writing and know the "rules" to reexamine their own writing and writing processes and then produce an acceptable product. Given eight sample paragraphs from their own writing, 20 freshman students working in 5 groups provided insightful criticisms that were then used to generate a provocative 4-part paragraph heuristic. The four "rules" they came up with covered levels of generalization, use of evidence, the need for pausing to explore implications of ideas, and the importance of cohesiveness and comprehensive coverage at each level of the paragraph. The next set of papers handed in showed the distinct improvement produced when the students used these rules for self-checking paragraphs. Not just a fine pedagogical tool, this student-generated heuristic is just one example of the breakthroughs possible when collaborative learning is used on the college level. This format helps the teacher as well as the student to go beyond the often unproductive rules of traditional approaches to teaching. (An appendix charts sample paragraphs in terms of the heuristic.) (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Collaborative Learning; Heuristic Methods
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Endowment for the Humanities/Beaver College Summer Institute for Writing in the Humanities (Glenside, PA, July 26-31, 1981).