Journal article
Comparison of Two Small-group Learning Methods in 12th-grade Physics Classes Focusing on Intrinsic Motivation and Academic Performance

Publication Details
Berger, R.; Hänze, M.
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International Journal of Science Education
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Twelfth-grade physics classes with 344 students participated in a quasi-experimental study comparing two small-group learning settings. In the jigsaw classroom, in contrast to the cyclical rotation method, teaching expectancy as well as resource interdependence is established. The study is based on the self-determination theory of motivation, which states that the satisfaction of the 'basic needs' for experiencing autonomy, competence, and social relatedness is essential to promote intrinsic motivation. Regarding the experience of competence, a small effect in favour of the jigsaw classroom was found, whereas students in the cyclical rotation setting showed mediumsized benefits in experiencing autonomy. A path analysis revealed that these opposing effects balanced each other; that is, no effect from small-group method to intrinsic motivation was found. In contrary to the motivational variables, achievement effects depended on the underlying study topic: based on scanning electron microscopy, the cyclical rotation setting outperformed jigsaw classroom, whereas an opposed trend is observed with regard to the microwave oven learning unit. The higher interestingness of the latter learning unit was revealed as a weak mediator from study topic to academic achievement.


Last updated on 2020-10-06 at 17:24