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Working together in the classroom : an investigation into software to raise awareness of group-learning skills in children aged 9 and 10

Ulicsak, Mary Helen (2003)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis describes a training scheme to raise awareness of group skills. Drawing on existing research and observations of classroom practice, this scheme requires children to consider group skills before, during and after the group activity. The approach is unique as the task of raising awareness of group skills was designed to influence, and be influenced by, the group task; and feedback on group skill usage is generated from individual self-assessments made during and after the activity. Studies using the scheme with 9 and 10 year olds working in face-to-face groups found the medium (paper or software) and the environment (a classroom or laboratory-style setting) influenced the self-assessments. Despite this, using the scheme did not result in the transfer of group skills to other activities. A relationship was found, however, between the consistency of the self-assessments recorded during and after the activity and the child’s ability at group work. The training scheme positively influenced the task performance. If a software implementation of the scheme was used concurrently with computer tasks, there was a trend towards improved recall in the material studied. If used with an activity that also incorporated communication, reflection and responsibility, a significant improvement in performance was achieved.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Daniels, Harry and Arvanitis, Theodoros N.
School/Faculty:Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Engineering
Department:Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Keywords:Group work, computer supported collaborative learning
Subjects:QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
LB1501 Primary Education
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:84
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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