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ERIC Number: ED504865
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Apr-10
Pages: 79
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Increasing Student Effort in Complex Problem Solving through Cooperative Learning and Self-Recording Techniques
Brahmer, Kelly; Harmatys, Jennifer
Online Submission
In recent years, teachers have noticed a drop in student effort on complex problems in math and science. The purpose of this study was to determine if incorporating cooperative learning and self-recording strategies had an impact upon student effort on complex problems. A total of 38 9th through 11th grade math and science students at two different sites were a part of the study. All students were placed in cooperative learning groups and each kept a Strategy Journal. This journal was a self-recording tool which helped students organize their errors and keep track of strategies that were helpful in solving complex problems. Data was collected through three tools: a Pre- and Post- Intervention Survey, weekly Homework Checks, and weekly Bell-ringer Questions. The surveys asked students to indicate how they approached complex problems. The surveys were then analyzed to see what changes in behavior occurred during the Pre-Intervention and Post-Intervention periods. The Homework Check was conducted once a week to determine the level of effort that students put forth on work completed at home. The weekly Bell-ringer Question was conducted to determine the level of effort students put forth on work completed in class. After compiling data during the Pre-Intervention, Intervention, and Post-Intervention periods, effort scores were averaged week by week. Then, the teacher researchers were able to analyze whether student effort had increased since the Pre-Intervention period. Results indicated that student effort on complex problems increased over the Intervention and Post-Intervention periods from the original Pre-Intervention effort scores. The average effort score on the Homework Check went from a maximum score of 1.4 during the Pre-Intervention period to a maximum score of 1.8 during the Intervention period. During the Post-Intervention period scores remained constant at 1.7. The average effort score on the Bell-ringer Question went from a maximum score of 1.8 during the Pre-Intervention period to a maximum score of 2.0 during the Intervention period. The maximum score during the Post-Intervention period was a 1.9. The teacher researchers concluded that cooperative learning and self-recording strategies did make an impact on student effort on complex problems in the math and science classrooms. The teacher researchers recommend continuing this research for a longer period of time to fully determine the effects of cooperative learning and self-recording strategies on student effort. Four appendixes are included: (1) Pre-Student and Post-Student Surveys; (2) Homework Check--Pre-Intervention Tally Sheet; (3) Bell-Ringer Question--Pre-Intervention Tally Sheet; and (4) Pre/Post-Intervention Student Survey Complete Results. (Contains 8 graphs and 15 tables. [Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University.
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A