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AN EVALUATIVE STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF GROUP LEARNING ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF  UNIVERSITY STUDENTS      

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AN EVALUATIVE STUDY ON THE EFFECTS OF GROUP LEARNING ON THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF  UNIVERSITY STUDENTS         

 

Abstract

This paper addresses two teaching approaches that many faculty members in Nigeria pursue nowadays when they teach large classes: the lecture approach and the group or cooperative learning approach. It describes the effects of both approaches on the academic performance of adult students. An empirical study is conducted with 243 students from the Faculty of Linguistics and communication, Uniport, who are enrolled in the course of Communication Skills. The analysis presented, attempts to show that group learning provides opportunities for negotiation (of form, content and classroom rules of behavior), which create an environment favorable to learning. In contrast, the large class lecture-centered approach is shown to provide rare opportunities for student engagement, transfer of knowledge to new situations, long term knowledge retention and motivation for further learning. Placing the analysis within the role of group communication in the enhancement of one’s academic, social and personal knowledge, this study demonstrates that when teachers move from primary reliance on the lecture to group learning, they lead their students to academic and cognitive benefits. The purpose of this study is to give empirical support to the use of group approaches in large class settings.

 

Key words: education, group learning, lecture, students.