Journal of Effective Teaching
The study investigates the effect of cooperative and individualistic learning strategies on the academic performance of students in the general chemistry laboratory. The samples of the study were divided into experimental and control groups. The hypotheses were first generated and, after collecting data, analyzed by an analysis of t-test at an α = 0.05 level of significance. The findings revealed that a cooperative learning strategy is more effective than an individualistic strategy; and, the students in the cooperative group performed significantly better. The mean difference of the final examination of 6.80, t = 6.10, p = 0.001 indicated that the difference of the results for control group and experimental group was significant at p<0.05. Students of cooperative groups, at the end of the course, were given a questionnaire to reflect their perception. Their response was positive toward the cooperative learning strategy. 90% of the students would like to help, get help and mutually discuss the labs with their partners. A majority of them were in agreement that working as a group to conduct an experiment could improve their teamwork skills as well. This study adds to the global discussion about the role of the University in preparing students toward teamwork.
Keywords: Cooperative learning, individualistic learning, general chemistry, laboratory, scholarship of teaching, effective teaching, teamwork.
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