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Effects of task structure and group composition on elaboration and metacognitive activities of high-ability students during collaborative learning

Effects of task structure and group composition on elaboration and metacognitive activities of high-ability students during collaborative learning

Samenvatting

Collaborative learning tasks may represent an effective way to stimulate higher-order processes among high-ability students in regular classrooms. This study investigated the effects of task structure and group composition on the elaboration and metacognitive activities of 11th grade preuniversity students during a collaborative learning task: 102 students worked in small groups. On an ill-structured or moderately structured task. Differential effects for cognitive ability were investigated using a continuous measure. Likewise, the effects of group composition were examined using a continuous measure of the cognitive heterogeneity of the group. The group dialogues were transcribed and coded. Analysis revealed an interaction effect between task structure and cognitive ability on students’ elaboration and metacognitive activities. Task structure had a negative effect on the elaborative contributions of high-ability students. For students with lower abilities, task structure had a positive effect on elaboration and metacognitive activities. No effects were found of the cognitive heterogeneity of the group. Group composition seemed not to be related to group interaction among 11th grade pre-university students. The results indicate that open-ended collaborative tasks with little guidance and directions on how to handle them, can stimulate higher-order processes among high-ability students and may offer them the challenge they need.

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OrganisatieHogeschool van Amsterdam
AfdelingKenniscentrum Onderwijs en Opvoeding
Gepubliceerd inPedagogische Studiën Vereniging voor Onderwijs Research, Vol. 96, Uitgave: 2, Pagina's: 136-151
Jaar2019
TypeArtikel
ISSN0165-0645
TaalEngels

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