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      When Group Work Doesn’t Work: Insights from Students

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          Abstract

          Introducing group work in college science classrooms can lead to noticeable gains in student achievement, reasoning ability, and motivation. To realize these gains, students must all contribute. Strategies like assigning roles, group contracts, anonymous peer evaluations, and peer ratings all encourage student participation. In a class using these strategies, we conducted in-depth interviews to uncover student perceptions of group work in general and the utility of these support strategies. Students in both high- and low-performance groups still complained of unequal contributions while praising the social support provided by groups. Students who scored highly on tests were more likely to recognize the benefits of group work, regardless of their groups’ overall performance levels, while lower-scoring students perceived group work as time-consuming “busy work” with little cognitive benefit. Comments from anonymous peer evaluations differed only subtly between high- and low-performance groups. Numerical ratings on these evaluations did correlate with overall group performance. However, students in lower-performance groups assigned harsh ratings to their low-scoring members, while students in higher-performance groups were more generous in their ratings for low-scoring members. We discuss implications of relying on support strategies for promoting productive group work.

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          THE DYNAMIC NATURE OF CONFLICT: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF INTRAGROUP CONFLICT AND GROUP PERFORMANCE.

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            A Theory of Co-operation and Competition

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              Information sharing and team performance: A meta-analysis.

              Information sharing is a central process through which team members collectively utilize their available informational resources. The authors used meta-analysis to synthesize extant research on team information sharing. Meta-analytic results from 72 independent studies (total groups = 4,795; total N = 17,279) demonstrate the importance of information sharing to team performance, cohesion, decision satisfaction, and knowledge integration. Although moderators were identified, information sharing positively predicted team performance across all levels of moderators. The information sharing-team performance relationship was moderated by the representation of information sharing (as uniqueness or openness), performance criteria, task type, and discussion structure by uniqueness (a 3-way interaction). Three factors affecting team information processing were found to enhance team information sharing: task demonstrability, discussion structure, and cooperation. Three factors representing decreasing degrees of member redundancy were found to detract from team information sharing: information distribution, informational interdependence, and member heterogeneity.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Monitoring Editor
                Journal
                CBE Life Sci Educ
                CBE Life Sci Educ
                CBE-LSE
                CBE-LSE
                lse
                CBE Life Sciences Education
                American Society for Cell Biology
                1931-7913
                Fall 2018
                : 17
                : 3
                : ar52
                Affiliations
                []Department of Instructional Technology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
                [§ ]Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602
                Author notes

                Present address: Department of Learning and Instruction, University at Buffalo, SUNY, Buffalo, NY 14260.

                *Address correspondence to: Peggy Brickman ( brickman@ 123456uga.edu ).
                Article
                CBE.17-09-0199
                10.1187/cbe.17-09-0199
                6234829
                30183565
                9448274a-6d3e-4172-aa2a-cbb53623a35c
                © 2018 Y. Chang and P. Brickman. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2018 The American Society for Cell Biology. “ASCB®” and “The American Society for Cell Biology®” are registered trademarks of The American Society for Cell Biology.

                This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License.

                History
                : 13 September 2017
                : 10 May 2018
                : 23 May 2018
                Categories
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                Education
                Education

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