The effects of peer collaboration on student performance in solving process problems in mathematics

Betty Noriko Ibuki
This study investigated the effects of group collaboration on children's performance in and their attitudes towards Math problem solving, compared to individual work. Twenty-eight grade six students in a single classroom were randomly assigned to either a group- or individual-work condition for eleven sessions of working with process problems in Math. An analysis of covariance conducted on group means of problem-solving posttests with the pre-test and test administration order held as
more » ... r held as covariates, showed no significant difference between the group-work and individual-work conditions. An analysis of covariance on the means of posttests of the attitudes towards problem solving scale with pretest held as covariate, showed no significant difference between the two conditions in changes in attitude towards problem solving. An analysis of variance performed on the means of the summary scores of the answers to problems solved by students during the eleven sessions showed a significant difference between the two conditions, favouring the group-work condition. Qualitative methods of analysis were used to assess the use of strategies and reveal group interaction activities that may have supported problem solving. Measures included transcriptions from individual interviews and six videotaped problem-solving sessions, answer sheets for problems solved, and recorded observations of students. Analyses showed no difference between the two conditions in the type or number of strategies used. Interaction patterns were identified in group collaboration that may have allowed for better problem solving by groups of students during the intervention period: (a) suggesting strategies or ideas; (b) evaluation, checking and monitoring activities; (c) feedback in the form of explanations and clarifications that supported understanding of the problem by group members; (d) specific speech patterns that showed students mimicing or echoing each other's comments, speaking simultaneously, or completing another's comment; [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0099051 fatcat:x5roks7dovd3dmgnpohlxw5pqe