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Explanation Giving and Receiving in Cooperative Learning Groups

  • John A. Ross
Part of the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning book series (CULS, volume 8)

Students who give explanations to their peers learn more from small group discussions than students who do not. In this chapter, I will identify four instructional challenges posed by this finding: (a) explanation giving is rare; (b) usually upper ability students only offer explanations of their thinking, meaning that the students who could most benefit from this powerful learning strategy are least likely to engage in it; (c) asking for an explanation may not contribute to the learning of the explanation seeker; and (d) the quality of explanations provided by even the most able students tends to be poor. In this chapter I will describe four practical classroom strategies for improving the quality and frequency of explanations in cooperative learning groups. These strategies include direct teaching of help giving and help seeking, improving the social climate of the classroom, improving teacher interventions in small group activities, and implementing reciprocal roles.

Keywords

Cooperative Learning Knowledge Construction Direct Teaching Social Skill Training Social Climate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Ross
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada

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