Among friends: the role of academic-preparedness diversity in individual performance within a small-group STEM learning environment

Marina Micari*, Zachary Van Winkle, Pilar Pazos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we investigate the relationship between academic-preparedness diversity within small learning groups and individual academic performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) university courses. We further examine whether academic-preparedness diversity impacts academically more- and less-prepared students differently. We use data from 5367 university students nested within 1141 science, engineering, and mathematics learning groups and use a regression analysis to estimate the effect of group diversity, measured in two ways, on course performance. Our results indicate that academic-preparedness diversity is generally associated with positive learning outcomes, that academically less-prepared students derive greater benefit, and that less-prepared students fare best when they are not alone in a group of highly prepared students. Implications for teaching and small-group facilitation are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1904-1922
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Volume38
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 12 2016

Keywords

  • Collaborative learning
  • STEM education
  • higher education
  • learning-group composition
  • small-group learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Among friends: the role of academic-preparedness diversity in individual performance within a small-group STEM learning environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this