ERIC Number: ED393801
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Implementing Cooperative Structures To Increase Motivation and Learning in the College Classroom.
Van Voorhis, Judy L.
In a unique class of combined elementary and secondary teacher education majors, this triangulated qualitative study investigated how cooperative structures affect student attitudes and motivation. In particular, the study examined students' preferences for instruction, students' attitudes and motivation related to their preference for cooperative structures, and students' perceptions of their own learning. Students were instructed in a lecture or lecture-discussion group using an incremental approach implementing the Jigsaw, Focused Discussion, Turn-to-Your-Partner, and TGT (Team, Games, Tournaments) cooperative structures. Five weeks of typical course content with cooperative groups was provided. Then students received an overview of cooperative learning history, theory, and characteristics of effective use. Providing experience with cooperative activities before introducing cooperative learning as a topic for study led to more positive attitudes. However, responses on attitude and motivation subscales of the "Learning Preference Scale: Students" (LPSS) and the "Learning and Study Strategies Inventory" (LASSI) indicated that students in the study had an above average attitude score and a below average motivation score. These findings were discussed with students in ethnographic interviews on student perceptions of college-level instruction and attitude and motivation toward learning. The study concluded that cooperative learning structures generally yielded positive outcomes for students. A final conclusion was that the students' interest in the material, use of language in learning the material, and active pursuit of learning was enhanced by structured cooperative groups. The appendix describes the cooperative structures used and how to implement them. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures and 53 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Focused Conversation; Jigsaw Method; Learning and Study Strategies Inventory; Learning Preference Scale (Students); Preference Patterns; Teams Games Tournament
Note: Paper presented at the Lilly Conference on College Teaching (Columbia, SC, June 2-4, 1995).