Structuring collaboration in mixed-ability groups to promote learning, verbal interaction and motivation of average-ability students

M. Saleh, Adrianus W. Lazonder, Ton de Jong

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Average-ability students often do not take full advantage of learning in mixed-ability groups because they hardly engage in the group interaction. This study examined whether structuring collaboration by group roles and ground rules for helping behavior might help overcome this participatory inequality. In a plant biology course, heterogeneously grouped fourth-grade boys (n=164) were randomly assigned to a structured collaboration condition or an unconstrained comparison condition. Results indicated positive effects of structured collaboration on average-ability students’ achievement, motivation, and contribution to the group interaction. Another positive result was that structuring collaboration did not lower the scores of the high and low-ability students on these measures.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)314-331
JournalContemporary educational psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Individual diVerences
  • Ground rules
  • Group roles
  • Grouping arrangements
  • Verbal interaction
  • METIS-244287
  • IR-78586
  • Collaborative learning

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