Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Comparison between Individual and Collaborative Learning: Determining a Strategy for Promoting Social Skills and Self-Esteem among Undergraduate Students

Academic journal article The Journal of Educational Research

Comparison between Individual and Collaborative Learning: Determining a Strategy for Promoting Social Skills and Self-Esteem among Undergraduate Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

Philosophy of working together in classroom settings has been admitted as a substantial process providing a number of benefits to learners than a belief of working individual. Based on this fact the present study was conducted utilizing repeated measure design and experimental approach to compare the utility of two learning processes; Individual vs. Collaborative Learning. Employing experimental approach with two conditions; using individual and collaborative learning processes, 80 undergraduate students studying in two parallel sections of Psychology Class were studied. In condition I, the teacher used the individual learning process with section I and in condition II the teacher used the collaborative learning with section II. Before employing the experimental conditions at the start of semester, the students of both classes were tested on their levels of self-esteem and social skills. At the end of the semester, the students were tested again on these two variables. The study indicated two significant findings. 1. Students learning collaboratively and students learning individually were equal to some extent in their levels of social skills and self-esteem. 2. There were significant differences in the levels of two variables for the students learning collaboratively when they started course and when they ended the course. It implies that students by collaborating improved their social skills and self-esteem which are the essential potentials for learning. On the basis of these findings it is recommended that course instructors must encourage shared learning that will give students an opportunity to engage in discussion, take responsibility for their own learning, and thus become socially accepted.

Keywords: Individual Learning, Collaborative Learning, Social Skills, Self-Esteem

Introduction Learning in classroom is product of teaching. Effective learning is associated with different factors including classroom environment, use of educational technologies, motivation among students, pedagogical skills and competencies of teachers and instructional strategies. The findings of different studies (Hussain and Sarwat, 2010; Hussain, 2012) has substantiated the notion, "the more the students are involved in activities, the more effective learning takes place". Therefore, it can be said that effective learning is directly related with participation

of students in teaching learning process. Hence, a competent teacher selects student-centered instructional strategies. S/he designs and offers activities to students for their active involvement in learning process. A best teacher diagnosis learning needs of students, selects appropriate instructional strategies according to potential of students and offers individual or group activities to them.

Effectiveness of classroom instruction is usually determined by students' learning. Generally, teachers use two famous instructional methods in classroom. These two methods are different in nature but are exploited to achieve the same objective -students' learning. These are group work and individual work. Hussain & Sarwat (2010) affirmed effective learning to be an interactive process involving learners in different activities for accomplishing their academic tasks. They work on activities individually as well as in small groups to complete assigned task with mutual cooperation. The learning taking place in small groups of students by assuming activities and helping each other is referred to as called cooperative learning. However, in individual instructional strategy each student is treated as an individual learner and facilitated according to his/her academic potential and learning styles by the teacher. Here students work on separate and individualized activities and is responsible for his/her own learning. It is obvious that both of the methods require active participation of learners in learning process (Brody, 1995).

Cooperative learning requires students working in groups and therefore, appears as a motivational aspect of learning. …

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