Group Work as a Learning Situation: A Qualitative Study in a University Classroom

Apr. 16, 2008

Source: Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, Volume 14, Issue 2 April 2008 , pages 143 - 155

Problem-based learning, group work, project work and fieldwork are prescribed learning methods aimed at replacing or complementing traditional lectures in higher education in Norway (Innst. S. nr 337, 2000-2001) [Proposal to the Norwegian Parliament no. 337 (2000-2001)]. This is based on the belief that student activity can enhance learning. The qualitative research study presented in the text shows that various factors can impede and enhance learning in groups. The research project was carried out in a university classroom in which instruction was given in qualitative methods for master's degree students.

The purpose of the text is twofold. First, the teacher in a college or university classroom can hopefully learn something about doing research in his or her own classroom with the intention of developing practice. Secondly, the teacher can hopefully learn more about group processes and how they can be established and maintained.

Updated: Nov. 19, 2008