ERIC Number: ED409343
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Learning by Explaining--Or Better by Listening?
The effectiveness of cooperative learning arrangements is often attributed to the fact that the learners are not only "passive" recipients but also "active" explainers. To test this assumption experimentally explaining and listening were compared with respect to motivation and learning results. Forty first-year college students, grouped in pairs, learned probability calculations from worked-out examples. After an individual phase of learning, each member of a dyad took the role of explainer or listener. The role of the listener was more favorable with respect to both motivation and learning results. A second experiment tested whether learning by explaining was a poor result in the first experiment because the conditions favored listening, and not because explaining was so ineffective. An additional group of 10 dyads (20 learners) learned in unstructured cooperation. Both listening and unstructured cooperation were preferable to explaining. Findings suggest that the positive effects of explaining are overestimated in present research on cooperative learning. Future studies should attempt to determine the precise conditions under which explaining in cooperative arrangements leads to favorable outcomes. (Contains 5 tables, 2 figures, and 15 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Bonn - Bad Godesberg (West Germany).
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany