Finding Voice in Collaborative Settings: The Effects of Modified Task Roles on Satisfaction and Productivity Outcomes in an Intermediate-grade Learning Environment
The Journal of Educational Research
Eighty-nine 4th and 5th graders from a western school district participated in a study that compared the effects of traditional and modified models of collaboration on participation and productivity outcomes. Students were randomly assigned to participate in 1 of 3 types of work groups: traditional, modified, or control. Participants were asked to implement a unit of instruction on tower building first published in Instructor (Foster, 1991). This project required students to work together to apply creative and scientific process skills to solve an open-ended problem through group discussion, strategy planning, and construction. Participation and productivity outcomes were measured in each work group. The findings suggest that the modified model positively influenced productivity and participation outcomes. Results specifically related to gender and age differences suggest that when role assignments are used in cooperative learning models, they should be used with raised awareness of potential underlying social implications.
Williams, L., Reutzel, D. R., & Wilcox, B. (1997). Finding Voice in Collaborative Settings: The Effects of Modified Task Roles on Satisfaction and Productivity Outcomes in an Intermediate-grade Learning Environment. The Journal of Educational Research, 90 (6), pp. 344-351.