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Trajectories of change in university students’ general views of group work following one single group assignment: Significance of instructional context and multidimensional aspects of experience

Wosnitza, M. and Volet, S. (2013) Trajectories of change in university students’ general views of group work following one single group assignment: Significance of instructional context and multidimensional aspects of experience. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 29 (1). pp. 101-115.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10212-013-0189-y
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Abstract

This paper examines how distinct trajectories of change in students’ general views of group work over the duration of one single group assignment could be explained by multidimensional aspects of their experience and the overall instructional context. Science (336) and Education (377) students involved in a semester-long group assignment completed questionnaires at the beginning and end of their assignment. Individual and group level analyses provided evidence of change in general views of group work for over half of students and one third of the groups. Students’ multidimensional experience of their group assignment was investigated in terms of its cognitive, motivational, affect, interpersonal, management, and assessment aspects. Change in general views of group work could be explained by different aspects, which varied depending on the overall instructional context and whether change was toward more positive or more negative views. Overall, the findings highlight the significance of affect in students’ experience of group work and the influence of enabling or inhibiting features of instructional contexts. The criticality of distinguishing between different experiential aspects of group work and examining the nature of students’ experience in relation to the characteristics of the instructional context was demonstrated. Understanding what triggers change in students’ general views of group work is important as these views are expected to have a major impact on the quality of subsequent engagement in group activities.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/15480
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