Student- and Task-Related Predictors of Primary-School Students’ Perceptions of Cooperative Learning Activities

Jolien Mouw*, Nadira Saab, R.J. Pat El, Paul van den Broek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

To be able to effectuate the success of cooperative learning, it is important to understand students’ perceptions of specific cooperative learning activities. However, students’ perceptions of one and the same cooperative learning activity can vary to a large extent. To gain insight into student- and taskrelated sources of variability in students’ perceptions of a cooperative learning activity we examined if cognitive and social perspectivetaking ability, instructional mode, and individual and group level-learning outcomes
an predict primary-school students’ perceptions of relatively easy and more complex cooperative learning activities. The newly developed PCLA-Q was used to measure students’ perceptions of cooperative learning. Multilevel analyses revealed that social perspective-taking ability explains students’ perceptions of engagement in cooperative behaviors, but only when working on an easy task. Cognitive perspective-taking ability accounts for variability in students’ attitudes towards and perceived utility value of a complex task. Group learning outcomes, but not individual learning outcomes, can positively predict students’ attitudes towards and perceived utility value of both easy and complex tasks. Group learning outcomes also predict perceptions of engagement in cooperative behaviors while working on easy and complex tasks. We found no evidence that differences in the instructional mode affect students’ perceptions of a cooperative learning task. Hence, our findings suggest that students’ perceptions of a cooperative learning activity can vary between students and as a function of contextual variables, depending on students’ perspective-taking abilities, group learning outcomes, and the complexity of the task.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-122
Number of pages25
JournalPedagogische Studiën
Volume96
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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