Research & Theory on Communication & Performance Technology


Course Description

IT 635 -- Research and Theory on Communication and Performance Technology (3) This course explores current research and theory in the field of performance technology, Topics covered will be concerned with development and design theory, practices and procedures, including content structure, course organization, course sequence, and instructional strategies. It will include locating and interpreting information from published reports and using research to explore questions related to performance technology. Offered fall (odd years).


Students Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Group Learning

Kelly Dugan
Trevor Dugan
Biyun Liu
Eric Ochranek

IT 635 Research and Theory in Communication
and Performance Technology
SUNY Potsdam

Despite the vast research done on group learning it is still unclear how students themselves feel about group learning. Group learning has been determined a reliable and consistent tool. It is used to teach subject matter, generate discussion and stir creativity. It also teaches students the social skills they need to succeed in their careers. The purpose was to explore the perceptions and attitudes towards group learning among students and understand the potential affect group learning has on overall student learning among graduate and undergraduate students at SUNY Potsdam. The study explored if students think they learn more in groups, have preferences to group learning and if they like working in groups. This study is an examination of 265 students that participated in a survey at SUNY Potsdam. In general, participants had a favorable outlook towards group work. They have clear preferences to group work and distinguish between liking group work and preferring group work. Group learning has a definite influence on students, while many find it challenging, students appear to have a positive perception and attitude of group learning.

Learning has occurred throughout the history of man but it was with the advent of writing circa 3000 BC that brought it to conscious practice. Around 440 BC we have the Socratic Method named after Socrates who was a mentor to Plato (Socrates, n.d.). Apprenticeships and artisans worked to learn their trade from a skilled craftsman. The legacy that created rote learning and the organization of schools into classrooms stems back to the 1300’s, to the Lancaster Grammar School. Since books were expensive they were unavailable to students, especially with over 100 students in the class. Students learned by rote, which is memorization by repetition (“European Education,” 2003). Rousseau’s educational progressivism in 1762 Emile was met with mixed reviews, banned and publicly burned in Paris the same year of publication (Émile, n.d.). This was a foundation for others to follow such as John Dewey. And Dewey in 1897 published his theory on progressive education (John Dewey, n.d.).
History of Education in United States

So why are we here over 200 years later, asking how does group learning compare to individual learning? Since 1879 studies on group or cooperative learning have covered every grade level from preschool to college. It is one of the most researched topics related to instructional methods. The research (Johnson and Johnson, 2004; Light, 2001; Putnam, 1997; Sharon and Sharon, 1976; and Slavin, 1991) shows that when comparing individualistic learning (learning alone), cooperative learning and competitive learning it is with cooperative learning that students achieve higher success. With more and more research being done in cooperative learning, it has acquired a fundamental position.