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ERIC Number: ED550576
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 289
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-1054-7
A Case Study Investigating an Initiative Seeking to Increase Collaboration in Learning among University Students
Kivett, Stanley W.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Many established theoretical reasons exist for pursuing student centered learning. However, the investigation of student centered classrooms is often based in the observation of classroom experiences rather than interviewing the individuals involved. Therefore, local knowledge of lived experiences with student centered learning practices like collaboration can be ignored as a source of information for policy decisions. Interviewing practitioners can be unwieldy, but can also produce insights that might not be discovered with other research designs. The purpose of this qualitative study was to report insights developed through the experiences of four teachers, four students, and two administrators at a mid-sized university pertaining to why collaboration in learning is worthwhile and how it can be achieved. Study participants were interviewed regarding their experiences and the interviews were organized into cases that were categorized and compared. The efforts of the participants in this study to increase collaboration in learning are based on constructivist principles wherein students are encouraged to participate in the creation of knowledge. Results indicated that in addition to generally agreeing with ideas that were drawn from the literature review, collaboration should be pursued because it can (a) increase responsiveness to individual needs, (b) increase opportunities to learn in new ways, (c) increase creation and ownership of ideas, (d) increase mastery of outcomes by all students, and (e) increase the use and development of the brain. New categories that were noted by study participants relating to ways collaboration can be fostered were to (a) carefully structure the activity, (b) teach metacognition and collaborative goals, (c) seek feedback to improve activities and personal expertise, (d) assess and address individual needs, and (e) understand the purposes, limitations and strengths of collaboration. This study demonstrated the utility of collaboration as a learning method, ways to improve in the process, and the importance of obtaining information experientially. Study results provide many ideas for future research on collaboration and offer the educational community ideas for working together to improve in collaborative practices. Many factors impinging on collaboration were identified and correlated so that educators will be able to consider student interactions more holistically. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A