Visualizing the group process to support equal participation of group members in cooperative learning

Mentor: Alieke van Dijk


Cooperative skills, like proper communication, are considered important skills to prepare students for their future careers. A lot of focus is placed on teaching suitable social skills to structure the cooperative process. However, to learn (i.e., acquire new knowledge) from a cooperative process, it is also important to focus on sharing (both giving and receiving) content-related information (e.g., Webb, 1982a, 1982b). In order to learn, students have to both participate in giving and receiving explanations. Merely placing students together and putting them to work does not lead to participation of all students in these processes.

Within this project, we will look into the added value of using shared graphical representations (such as drawings, concept maps, etc.) or other visualization products (like worksheets) to increase equal participation of group members in sharing information. The goal of this study is to investigate or compare the effects of different ways to visualize or structure the group process.


In this study, we use video recordings of the group processes, shared representations (and knowledge tests) to investigate the research question(s).


  • van Dijk, A.M., Eysink, T.H.S., & de Jong, (in prep). Supporting cooperative dialogue in heterogeneous groups.
  • Webb, N. M. (1982a). Group composition, group interaction, and achievement in cooperative small groups. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 475-484. doi:10.1037/0022- 0663.74.4.475
  • Webb, N. M. (1982b). Peer interaction and learning in cooperative small groups. Journal of Educational Psychology, 74, 642-655. doi:10.1037/0022-0663.74.5.642