Forming groups to foster collaborative learning in large enrolment courses

Gahan, Lawrence R., Lawrie, Gwendolyn A. and Matthews, Kelly E. (2010). Forming groups to foster collaborative learning in large enrolment courses. In: Proceedings of the 16th Annual UniServe Science Conference. Uniserve Science Conference, University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus, NSW, (66-71). 29 September - 1 October 2010.

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Author Gahan, Lawrence R.
Lawrie, Gwendolyn A.
Matthews, Kelly E.
Title of paper Forming groups to foster collaborative learning in large enrolment courses
Conference name Uniserve Science Conference
Conference location University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus, NSW
Conference dates 29 September - 1 October 2010
Convener UniServe Science and the Institute for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education (IISME)
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 16th Annual UniServe Science Conference
Place of Publication Sydney, NSW, Australia
Publisher UniServe Science
Publication Year 2010
Year available 2010
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9780980859713
Start page 66
End page 71
Total pages 6
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Assessed group tasks are becoming more prevalent in large undergraduate courses as a means of creating active, collaborative learning environments that foster student engagement and build team-work and communication skills. However, introducing group work presents challenges around task design, implementation, management and marking that differ significantly from individual-based assessment tasks. This paper focuses specifically on the role of team formation in collaborative learning tasks, which is situated in a broader, on-going study of interdisciplinary scenario-inquiry tasks in large enrolment science courses. A mixed-method design, based on grounded literature, examined student perceptions of assessed group tasks from two student cohorts completing a task under similar conditions with separate group formation criteria. Initial findings indicate that deliberately formed students groups are preferable to randomly formed groups, influencing student perceptions of group work and their subsequent learning outcomes. Results are interpreted within the context of current literature on group formation and collaborative learning. Implications for forming groups within collaborative learning tasks are presented, along with recommendations for further research
Subjects E1
1399 Other Education
Keyword Collaborative learning
Large classes
Group formation
Group process
Active learning
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Mon, 20 Sep 2010, 15:00:48 EST by Kelly Matthews on behalf of Teaching & Educational Development Institute