Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Elvin Gabriel

Abstract

Problem. Cooperative learning is attempted by placing students in group learning situations in which they receive assignments without a structured group or team-formation process. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the BcubeTM process with college students as a method of bringing together individuals of varied backgrounds to form cooperative- learning teams. In addition, the affect of the BcubeTM process on a particular learning outcome was also examined.

Method. Sixty-three Andrews University students (undergraduate and graduate) were divided into treatment and control groups. After a pretest was administered, the treatment group was given the BcubeTM process which is a method o f team formation that can be used to support cooperative learning strategies. Then all groups were given a learning task followed by a posttest. The Group Styles Inventory and the Group Development Questionnaire collected information from the 11 groups. Three-way analysis o f covariance, three-way analysis o f variance, t tests, Mann- Whitney, and Kruskal-Wallace tests were used to analyze the influence of the BcubeTM process along with gender and ethnicity on the five treatment groups.

Results. The control group scored higher than the treatment group on the post test of the learning module. The treatment group perceived themselves more effective than the control group. The treatment group used a higher level of constructive group styles than the control group. The treatment group was observed displaying more traits of an effective group.

Conclusions. The control group used a centralized communication pattern to outperform the treatment group on the learning module. This supports previous research findings that simple task completion uses individual or centralized communication patterns whereas complex tasks lend themselves to a decentralized pattern. The treatment group perceived that their group worked together effectively to generate better solutions than they could individually, solutions that they could “buy into.” This suggests that the BcubeTM preparation favorably impacted the treatment group’s self-perception. The treatment group’s perceived higher level use o f constructive group styles suggests that the BcubeTM emphasis on practicing cooperative strategies to accomplish taskwork had a significant affect. The observers’ ratings and qualitative data concurred that the BcubeTM process is an effective classroom cooperative preparation strategy.

Subject Area

Group work in education, Team learning approach in education

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