ERIC Number: ED320542
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Collaborative Learning and Computers: What Some New York City Teachers Are Doing, 1988-89. Evaluation Section Report.
Guerrero, Frank; And Others
The purpose of this study was to better understand teachers' perceptions of collaborative learning and to explicate how they use computer activities to promote cooperative learning experiences. Based on questionnaire responses and group meetings, the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment (OREA) identified seven New York City teachers of various grade levels who appeared to be using computers to encourage student collaboration. Classes ranged from a high school business course using spreadsheets, to special education students using simulations, to elementary school children using word processors for creative writing. OREA staff observed two to three class sessions of each teacher, and later met with them to clarify aspects of the observation and obtain information about related class activities. Of particular interest were the types of activities used, group composition, and the roles of teachers and students in these computer settings. Major findings include: (1) teachers believed that collaborative learning promoted the goals of problem solving and report production; (2) teachers used several types of software in collaborative learning activities; (3) most computer activities were structured so that students worked in pairs; (4) preparation did not involve instruction of students in social skills necessary for collaboration; (5) little or no role or task differentiation was observed; and (6) teachers acted as facilitators of the group work. Among the recommendations is that teachers be provided with further training and support for implementing collaborative learning. Appended are brief profiles of each of the seven class sites. (35 references) (GL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New York City Board of Education, Brooklyn, NY. Office of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment.