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Group Cohesion in Collaborative Environments. Sami Stevick Donna Ashcraft Fred Keen Troy Teeter Clarion University Thomas Treadwell West Chester University. Cooperative vs. Collaborative Learning. Cooperative learning : division of labor “cut and paste” approach lecture based

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group cohesion in collaborative environments

Group Cohesion in Collaborative Environments

Sami Stevick

Donna Ashcraft

Fred Keen

Troy Teeter

Clarion University

Thomas Treadwell

West Chester University

cooperative vs collaborative learning
Cooperative vs. Collaborative Learning

Cooperative learning:

  • division of labor
  • “cut and paste” approach
  • lecture based
  • product oriented
cooperative vs collaborative learning1
Cooperative vs. Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning:

  • shared knowledge and experiences
  • shared goal(s)
  • ideas are constructed through group interaction and interaction between individuals within the group
  • work on all parts of project by all members, hence a more thorough understanding of subject
  • Constructivism
  • active learning
  • process oriented
benefits of group work petress 2004
Benefits of Group Work(Petress, 2004)
  • Freud asserted that groups are replacements for our families.
  • Baumeister and Leary in their belongingness hypothesis, stated that people have a need to belong to groups to avoid unhappiness and loneliness.
  • Rubenstein & Shaver observed that people avoid loneliness which can have devastating consequences such as depression, shame, and self-pity.
  • Shaver & Buhrmeister stated that emotional and social loneliness are consequences of isolation; both are reduced in a group setting.
benefits of group work
Benefits of Group Work
  • Emotional and Social Benefits (Forsyth, 1996)
  • Sense of belonging
  • Emotional support and intimacy
  • Generativity
  • Support
  • Influence
  • Exploration
benefits of group work1
Benefits of Group Work
  • Cognitive and Affective Benefits (Petress, 2004)
  • Learn social skills
  • Gain confidence
  • Assertiveness practice
  • Practice for future group work
  • Practice communication skills (verbal and listening)
  • Diversity in learning and sharing knowledge
  • Reinforcement of self-efficacy
  • Validation of knowledge
  • Rotation of responsibilities affords opportunity to practice many roles
group work processes
Group Work Processes
  • Task Dimension Duties(Petress, 2004)
  • Goal setting and adjusting
  • Data gathering and organizing duties
  • Summarizing group tasks
  • Procedural and outcome assessment and probing
  • responsibilities
  • Agenda setting
group work processes1
Group Work Processes
  • Group Maintenance Duties(Petress, 2004)
  • Giving each member a fairly equitable opportunity to
  • participate
  • Focusing/refocusing on the task
  • Recognizing and breaking group tension
  • Mediating member disagreements
  • Celebrating success on tasks/subtasks
  • Caring for individual needs.
group cohesion
Group Cohesion
  • Many definitions, no consensus
  • Bonds that link group members to each other as individuals and to the group, defining its “unity, oneness, and solidarity” (Forsyth, 1999, p.9)
dimensions of group cohesion forsyth 1999
Dimensions of Group Cohesion(Forsyth, 1999)
  • Binding force
  • Group unity
  • Attraction
  • Teamwork
benefits of group cohesion peterson 2007
Benefits of Group Cohesion(Peterson, 2007)
  • Greater cohesiveness = Greater productivity (Cartwright, 1968)
  • Each of group cohesion’s three points - attraction, unity (i.e. group pride), and *commitment to task - are positively related to group performance (Beal, et al., 2003)
  • When cohesion is strong, social and motivational forces are strong leading to better performance (Cartwright, 1968)
benefits of group cohesion forsyth 1999
Benefits of Group Cohesion(Forsyth,1999)
  • Participant satisfaction
  • Less tension and anxiety
  • Better acceptance of group goals, decisions, and norms
  • Caveat: Productivity of cohesive groups is high when groups establish norms that encourage high standards of performance (success at reaching Tuckman’s (1965) norming stage where they promote high standards of productivity)
tuckman s stages
Tuckman’s Stages

Bruce Tuckman (1965) identified four stages of group development:

  • Forming - orientation
  • Storming - conflict
  • Norming - unification and organization; (actualization of cohesion)
  • Performing - production
coral
CORAL
  • Collaborative On-line Research and Learning
  • Two Universities, Clarion and West Chester, at each end of PA
    • Webboards
    • File Manager
    • Videoconferencing
    • Chat rooms
participants
Participants
  • Control Group: Students participating in short-term group work as part of an objectivist class
  • Experimental Group: Students participating in semester-long collaborative group work (CORAL)
materials and procedure
Materials and Procedure
  • Pre-test and Post-test:
    • Attitudes about Group Work (Stevick, 2007)
    • Group Cohesion Scales A & B (Treadwell, Laverture, Kumar, & Veeraraghavan, 2001)
results
Results
  • Findings show significant increase in attitudes towards group work for the CORAL class over the course of the semester: t(38)= -3.738, p < .001.
  • Findings show the level of group cohesion increased significantly for the CORAL class over the course of the semester: t(21)= - 2.479, p < .05.
results1
Results

CORAL

results2
Results
  • For Non-CORAL class there was a significant decrease in overall level of cohesiveness: t(27)= 6.429, p < .001.
  • No significant increase in attitudes towards group work for Non- CORAL classes: t(87)= -1.601, p ≥ .05.
results3
Results

Short-term Group Work

summary of results
Summary of Results
  • Attitudes and level of cohesiveness same initially for CORAL and Non-CORAL classes.
  • Attitudes and level of cohesiveness improved for CORAL class.
  • No discernible differences in attitudes towards group work in Non-CORAL class from beginning to end of semester.
  • Significant decrease in level of cohesiveness for Non-CORAL class.
discussion
Discussion
  • Results indicate a focused and organized group environment such as CORAL is more conducive to positive group attitudes and overall group cohesiveness, whereas informal, non-constructive settings impede the acquisition of positive attitudes that are integral to levels of group cohesion.
implications
Implications
  • A need to alter conventional group work processes which tend to get mired in the conflict stage (storming).
  • Awareness of the dynamics of cohesive group work lends itself to higher levels of functioning.
  • Consistent and stable group projects facilitates growth within the group, and in turn, fosters superior group performance and cohesiveness.
references
References
  • Forsyth, D.R. (1999). Group Dynamics (3rd ed.). Belmont,

CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

  • Peterson, F.W. (2007). Predicting group performance using

cohesion and social network density: A comparative analysis. Retrieved 4/3/08from

http://handle.dtic.mil/100.2/ADA465295

  • Petress, K.C. (2004). The Benefits of Group Study.

Education. Summer Retrieved 3/2/08 from

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q3673/is_200

407/ai_n9422021

  • Treadwell, T., Laverture, N., Kumar, V.K., and

Veeraraghavan, V. (2001). The group cohesion scale-

revised: reliability and validity. International Journal of

Action Methods: Psychodrama, Skill Training, and Role Playing,54, 3-12.