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ERIC Number: EJ799284
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
ISSN: ISSN-1467-5986
Asian Students' Perceptions of Group Work and Group Assignments in a New Zealand Tertiary Institution
Li, Mingsheng; Campbell, Jacqui
Intercultural Education, v19 n3 p203-216 Jun 2008
This study, conducted in 2005 in a New Zealand tertiary institution, examines Asian students' perceptions of the much-promulgated cooperative learning concepts in the form of group work and group assignments. Twenty-two Asian students participated in one-hour individual face-to-face semi-structured interviews. The study found that Asian students valued highly the significance of classroom group discussions where they could interact with students from other cultures and backgrounds, improve their English-language skills, enhance their cultural understanding and provide them with opportunities to make friends. However, they held intensely negative views about group assignments that required students to complete a project as a group with shared marks determined by the performance of the group. Contributing factors affecting group dynamics included members' attitudes and willingness to cooperate and contribute as a team, the composition of the group, students' competing demands on students' time and attention, heterogeneity from the natural abilities of students, and the varying cultural values and beliefs held by group members. Most Asian students felt disheartened and helpless at having to complete mandatory group assignments. The study suggests that cooperative learning has its strengths and weaknesses. Students' needs, interests, cultural values, and teaching effectiveness should be considered as a priority in teaching in tertiary institutions. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand