Collaborative learning in engineering students: Gender and achievement

Glenda S. Stump, Jonathan C. Hilpert, Jenefer Husman, Wen Ting Chung, Wonsik Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND Collaboration is an ABET accreditation required component of the engineering curriculum. Research has shown that collaborative learning positively influences student achievement. The relationship between motivation, collaborative learning strategies, and achievement is not well studied in an engineering education context. PURPOSE (HYPOTHESES) A set of hypotheses were tested that predicted positive relationships between students' self-reported informal collaboration, self-efficacy for learning course material, knowledge building behaviors, and course grade. A second set of hypotheses were tested that predicted gender similarities in reported self-efficacy, and gender differences in reported collaborative learning activities. DESIGN/METHOD One hundred fifty engineering students were surveyed for study 1 and 513 students were surveyed for study 2. Bivariate correlations were completed to examine relationship between study variables; multiple regression analysis was completed to examine predictive ability of variables on course grade; MANOVA was completed to examine multivariate relationship between variables. RESULTS In study 1, students' reported use of collaborative learning strategies and reported self-efficacy for learning course material were significantly predictive of their course grade. In study 2, female students reported greater use of collaboration as a learning strategy than their male classmates; among male and female students combined, those who received "B's" in their engineering course reported more collaboration than their peers who received "A's" or "C's" and lower. CONCLUSIONS Overall, students' self reported collaborative learning strategies were associated with increased self-efficacy for learning course material and course grade, particularly for students who received "B's" in the course. Female students reported greater use of collaborative learning strategies than their male peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-497
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Engineering Education
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • Achievement
  • Collaborative learning
  • Gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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