The Relationship Between Collaborative Learning Method And Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students

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The Relationship Between Collaborative Learning Method And Academic Performance Of Secondary School Students


Abstract


The study examined the relationship between collaborative learning method and academic performance of secondary school students in Lagos State: Implication for counselling. A total of 200 (two hundred) sampled students were selected and used for this study. A total of four (4) null hypotheses were formulated and tested using the Pearson product moment correlation and the independent t-test tools at 0.05 level of significance.

At the end of the data analysis, results obtained include the following:

  1. There is a significant relationship between collaborative learning method and students’ academic performance in school.
  2. There is a significant relationship between the academic performance of students taught by collaborative learning method and those taught by other method of teaching in school.
  3. There is a significant relationship between personality and academic performance of students based on the use of collaborative learning in schools.
  4. Finally, there is a significant gender difference in the academic performance of students due to the application of collaborative learning method in schools.

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Few classrooms are homogenous in nature. The typical classroom is made up of students from diverse cultural, economic, ethnic, linguistic and social backgrounds. In addition, the classrooms comprise of students with diverse motivational and ability levels. So in the typical classroom, there are some students who benefit from the conventional instructional processes because the processes are consistent with their previous experiences. Still there are other students who do not benefit from the instructional processes because, the instructional processes tend to inhibit their learning abilities (Jones and Jones, 2001).

Furthermore, Jones and Jones (2001), pointed out that the teacher must modify the classroom environment so as to enable the learners to develop prosocial, cooperative behaviour and culture of learning. Collaborative peer learning is therefore, one classroom management strategy usually recommended for more advanced learners such as secondary school students (Schmuck and Schmuck, 2007).

Collaborative peer learning involves students working together to complete common tasks or master a common challenge (Fawcett and Garton, 2005). Rochelle and Teasley (2005) also see collaborative learning as a coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of a continued attempt to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem. Pieced together, it would be plausible to describe collaborative learning as the voluntary coming together of students of diverse abilities or levels of comprehension to study together for the purpose of maximizing their own and each other’s learning (Johnson, Johnson and Holubec, 2008).

Promotive interaction is the mutual help that members offer to one another. Members must always engage in verbal communication, asking questions, offering explanations, and through that, help one another to overcome their learning difficulties. Individual accountability is the acceptance of the fact each member of the group is accountable to the group for tasks assigned to them. As the group monitors the contributions of individual members, free riders must be made of their negative tendency. Passive listeners (social loafers) must also be made to be aware of their passiveness in the class activity. But this quiet reprimand must be made in such a way that the individuals involved would not be hurt too much. Therefore, social skills must be deployed in peer collaborative learning (Johnson and Johnson, 2004).

Collaborative learning among peers in the classroom is successful when no one is perceived as a social loafer or a free rider. Neither should some or one of the class members perceive themselves to be doing virtually all the work while others merely goof and listen passively. Every member must feel that everybody is an equal participant in the group’s activities. There must be perceived shared leadership. At any given time, and in any given situation, peers do different things. Therefore, ideally leadership should not be seen to be fixed in only one competent member; rather leadership must be seen to be diffused and contextual (Leon, 2004).

Counselling is very essential in any school system. It is an instrument that is applied for direction of those who do not know the way to follow and for correction of wrong direction taken by anyone (Covey, 1990). According to Amobi (2003), the use of counselling or the activity of the counsellor is needed in helping the students to carry out appropriate cooperative learning in the classroom. For instance Amobi is of the opinion that the counsellor must help the teachers to realize and appreciate the important role they have to play in adequately motivating their students to learn, using the collaborative learning method. Therefore, the teachers should be encouraged by the school counsellor to adopt the following strategies in motivating their students to learn cooperatively:

  • Be a competent model who is motivated to learn. This is because, the attitudes the teachers convey about learning effort and achievement are important factors in determining whether students will develop positive attitudes towards the same issues.
  • Create an atmosphere of challenge and high expectations to learn. Every student should be challenged to do their best.
  • Communicate the expectations that the students will achieve and provide the necessary academic and emotional support.
  • Work with students to help them set goals, plan and monitor their progress and to select learning tasks that can stimulate interest and curiosity in the cooperative learning and so on.

1.2 Statement of Problem

The problem inherent in collaborative learning method and academic achievement of students cannot be overemphasized. This is because, in some cases, collaborative method of teaching and learning are not effective method of teaching and learning processes. For instance, students who are gifted and well comfortable with individualistic learning process, may not be well disposed when they are grouped together with some other students in the classroom. Also, some students are shy, moody, and introverts, therefore, they do not like to be exposed to the social activities in the school. If these students who are very inhibitive and public-phobia are exposed in group studies, they may not be able to study well. Rather than studying well in a group of peers, they may tend to be towered. Most of them who cannot talk or join discussions in the classroom would be hindered being good and effective learners.

Not only that, group learning has its own negative effects. The following negative effects of collaborative learning method are identified by Uzor (2004): Laziness (students may become lazy and leave the activity to only one person to carry on); social loafers (some group members may decide to while away their times while intensive work is going on and in that case, may not learn anything); one-sided leadership (the group-leader may be the only one who leads the group while others may not understand or know how to lead). Other problems are: members may not communicate and interact with one another; there may arise in-fighting and bad blood within the group and this may lead to incompetence and lack of mastery of subject-matter by some members of the group and so on.

The above problems gave rise to the examination of the relationship between collaborative learning method and academic performance of students in schools.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

The following objectives of the study are to:

  1. Find out whether there is a relationship between collaborative learning and student’s academic achievement in school.
  2. Examine if collaborative learning method is the best method of teaching/learning in school.
  3. Compare the learning outcomes of students who are taught using collaborative learning method and those who were taught with other methods.
  4. Find out whether gender difference exists in the academic achievement of students due to the use of collaborative learning method.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were asked:

  1. Will there be relationship between collaborative learning method and students’ academic achievement in school?
  2. Is collaborative learning method the best method in teaching/learning?
  3. Is there any comparison between the learning outcomes of students who were taught using collaborative learning method and those taught without it?
  4. Will there be gender difference in the academic performance of students due to application of collaborative learning method?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. There will be no significant relationship between collaborative learning method and students’ academic achievement in school.
  2. There will be no significant relationship between the academic performance of students who are taught by collaborative method and those who are not.
  3. There will be no significant relationship between teachers personality and academic performance of students based on collaborative learning.
  4. There will be no significant gender difference in the academic achievement of students due to application of collaborative learning method.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study will be beneficial to the followings:

  1. Teachers would be able to have deeper insights through the finding and recommendations of this study.
  2. Students would equally benefit from this study, because it will an eye-opener to them on the subject-matter.
  3. Parents who are school stakeholders will equally derive benefit from the study because they would gather much information from it.
  4. The society will not be left out. The members of the public will be fully informed concerning collaborative learning and students’ academic achievement.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The study covers the relationship between collaborative learning and students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State. Finance, time frame and other logistics would pose a considerable hindrance to the completion of the study.


Chapter Five


Conclusions and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

The significance of collaborative interaction in learning of chemistry has been post rayed by the findings of this study. Emphasis has been laid on the poor performance of students in chemistry. Chemistry being paramount in determining some course of studies, and considering its application in industries and many other professions, should be taught in such a way that students should achieve highly academically and acquire the necessary skill that will enable them to apply the acquired knowledge from education environment to society.

Also, findings of this study reveal that collaborative interaction learning strategy makes more positive influence on students’ cognitive achievement than the conventional lecture based learning method. This implies that if every individual is provided with an equal opportunity and allow to participate actively in the classroom all the imposed barriers on chemistry will no longer affect the academic achievements of students in chemistry.


5.2 Recommendations

  1. Chemistry teachers should be encouraged to use collaborative technique as an alternative and a supplement to lecture-based learning method.
  2. Textbook writers should shift emphasis from teachers’ activities to students’ activities that will promote the incorporation of collaborative method in chemistry textbooks.
  3. Curriculum planners should ensure the implementation of collaborative teaching strategy which stimulate cognitive activities, promote higher academic achievement and knowledge retention.

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