ERIC Number: ED403438
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Dec-7
Using Cooperative Learning in the Technical Classroom.
Magney, John R.
A questionnaire on use of cooperative learning was distributed to all faculty (76 respondents) in the College of Technical Careers at Southern Illinois-Carbondale (SIUC) and a sample of the membership (66 respondents) of the American Technical Education Association (ATEA). For both samples, the main use of groupwork was with laboratory assignments, problem-solving practice, and discussions of lectures and course materials. About one-third of the instructors permit students to work in groups on term papers and class presentations; fewer than 10 percent allow groupwork on quizzes and examinations. About 60% of the SIUC instructors and 39% of the ATEA respondents said they knew very little or nothing about the technique of cooperative learning. Instructors with more knowledge were more likely to do the following: use small group techniques in all their classes; assign students to groups rather than let students self-select into groups; provide students with training in group processes; and report that students in groups achieve higher grades, learn more and learn more quickly than students working individually. Groupwork enhanced student learning of course content and promoted the development of student skills in group processes and involvement in courses. Problems included time management and coverage of material, grading policies, and "free riding" by group members. (Contains 10 references.) (KC)
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques, Cooperative Learning, Group Activities, Group Dynamics, Higher Education, Interpersonal Relationship, Learning Activities, Outcomes of Education, Program Effectiveness, Program Implementation, Self Directed Groups, Teaching Methods, Teamwork, Technical Education, Vocational Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Vocational Association Convention (Cincinnati, OH, December 7, 1996).