Student perceptions of the emotional and academic outcomes of participation in a group process module

Jamie Bird

Abstract


Literature suggests that collaborative group work is conducive to productive learning. However a growing sense of uncertainty about the academic value of an undergraduate module that made use of group work led to the desire to gauge more fully students’ perceptions of this way of learning. An interpretive methodology, using a focus group and questionnaires, was employed to address the question. The importance of the maintenance of trusting relationships between the students, and between the student and tutor emerged strongly, along with the positive value of a clear and explicit direction for the group. A model for thinking about how to structure and frame such groups and how to position oneself as a tutor within such groups is proposed in response to the findings. The author concludes that paying attention to the relationship between educators and learners is vitally important within the context of group-based teaching and learning.


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