Collaboration in the Grade 9 English Classroom

Carol Bartel Nickel

Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

Abstract

This study investigates differences in student achievement in a grade nine English classroom when comparing Direct Instruction, a Collaborative Learning Model and a Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Model (CSCL). The independent variable is the method of instruction, and the dependent variable is student achievement. Forty-eight grade nine students in a small, culturally diverse school in Western Canada comprised the study sample. Quantitative data were collected from three sets of posttests and analyzed applying a Single-Sample Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Qualitative data were collected through exit slips at the completion of each unit of study. Data were coded and analyzed into three thematic categories: Engagement, Student Learning, and Efficacy.

Quantitative data indicated a statistically significant difference in student achievement between Direct Instruction and a collaborative model of learning; data also showed a statistically significant difference between Direct Instruction and a CSCL. These results contribute to a growing body of research around the impact of collaborative learning; specifically, a CSCL model. Further research around CSCL as well as collective knowledge creation within junior high is needed to inform pedagogical choices around lesson design.