When birds of the same feather fly together: The impact of achievement goal compatibility in collaborative learning

Lisenne I. S. Giel*, Gera Noordzij, Lisette Wijnia, Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, Semiha Denktas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In their pursuit of student engagement and achievement, educational institutes have increasingly been implementing student-centred approaches to learning with collaborative learning. In this study, we assessed the (mis)match effects of personal and group members’ achievement goals on student engagement and performance. Students (N = 266) from 36 different groups rated their achievement goals, their group members’ achievement goals, and their engagement for a course. Their exam performance was also included in the analysis. The results of the polynomial regression analyses indicated that both the degree of the compatibility and the direction of the incompatibility in mastery goals related to engagement, while only the degree in incompatibility in mastery goals related to performance. Conversely, neither the compatibility nor the incompatibility in performance goals related to engagement or performance. The results show the importance of examining the interplay between students’ and their group members’ achievement goals for student outcomes in a collaborative learning environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-98
Number of pages20
JournalEducational Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2021


  • Collaborative learning
  • achievement goals
  • person-group fit
  • group composition

Cite this