ERIC Number: ED484997
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Oct
Reference Count: 42
Small Group Learning in an Online Asynchronous Environment
Brewer, Susan A.; Klein, James D.
Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 27th, Chicago, IL, October 19-23, 2004
This article reports the results of a study conducted to examine the use of small group learning strategies in an online college course. The study examined the effect of four types of positive interdependence and the affiliation motive on learning and attitude in an asynchronous, collaborative learning environment. Results indicated no significant differences in achievement by type of interdependence, or by affiliation motive. Correlation analysis revealed a significant positive correlation, indicating that participants with higher numbers of interactions attained higher posttest scores. Participants in reward groups had significantly higher agreement with several attitude statements that reflected benefit from working with others and being able to generate better ideas in groups. Furthermore, participants in all three types of structured interdependence, compared to groups with no interdependence, had significantly higher agreement with being able to learn more because team members knew it was their job to contribute to the group work. In addition, participants with high affiliation motive had significantly higher agreement with several attitude statements. Groups with no structured interdependence had the most cognitive interactions, role groups had the most group processing, and reward groups were most off task. Implications for integrating small groups in computer-mediated learning environments are discussed.
Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Higher Education, Online Courses, Teaching Methods, Small Group Instruction, Student Attitudes, Undergraduate Students, Academic Achievement, Nontraditional Students, Rewards
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Washington, DC.