ERIC Number: ED452265
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Using Cooperative Learning in a Middle School Computer Lab.
Holliday, Dwight C.
The use of cooperative learning in a middle school computer laboratory was studied. Cooperative learning helps develop oral and group skills in middle school students as it allows them to socialize in an arena that does not always condone socializing. In this study, 4 heterogeneous groups were formed from 52 students, with male and female partners in each group. The task was the incorporation of a virtual field trip into group projects for social studies. Students were assigned the planning and creation of virtual travel to a foreign country, and they were to report to the computer laboratory once a week for this project. At the end of the virtual field trips, students were asked to apply the lessons they had learned to an individual experience. This exercise, a "visit" to an individual location, served as the application part of the 9-week term grade. An overall result of the project was that the computer skills of all students improved. There was a significant relationship between cooperative learning and the students' academic achievement. There was no significant enhancement based on group demographics and gender on the learning of computer skills. The high-achieving students were less likely to enjoy the cooperative learning experience, but most students enjoyed working with partners and taking the virtual field trip. Students who did not have computer access at home were able to close the gap to approach their more experienced classmates during the learning project. Student responses from the interviews and the survey confirmed that most had an increased interest and success in learning new computer skills. The implications of the findings for the design of cooperative learning for middle school students are discussed. Eight appendixes contain the student survey and materials used in its scoring and other aspects of the study. (Contains 20 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).