Date of Graduation
Cooperative learning can be a powerful instructional tool used to increase lecture comprehension and retention. Scripting cooperative activities according to cognitive learning principles can further increase effectiveness. This study investigated the use of a cooperative learning script based on a learning strategy called "Smart Questioning." Following lecture, college students participated in scripted activities according to one of five conditions: Cooperative Smart Questioning, Individual Smart Questioning, Cooperative Control, Individual Control, and Guided Questioning. Two tests of lecture comprehension (immediate and delayed) acted as dependent measures. Smart Questioning groups demonstrated no significant differences from those in Control conditions on either measure. In addition, those in the Cooperative Smart Questioning condition demonstrated no significant differences from those in the Individual Smart Questioning, Cooperative Control, or Guided Questioning conditions on either measure. Those in the Individual Smart Questioning condition also showed no significant differences from those in the Individual Control condition on either measure. It was suggested that the ability of this study to demonstrate potential differences may have been limited due to cell size, constraints associated with the dependent measures, and/or possible unmeasured deviations from established procedures in prior research. Further analyses indicated that continued research in this area may be valuable. For instance, effects of prior knowledge raised the possibility that a lack of shared prior knowledge may have hindered learning outcomes and that additional practice with the scripted activities may have been necessary to achieve learning benefits. Analyses also indicated that students using Smart Questioning generated more questions and that increased learning in cooperative groups may have resulted from students posing more questions to each other. Given these further analyses, it was suggested that future research should further investigate the relationships among shared prior knowledge, practice, questions generated, questions posed, and learning outcomes.
Howard, Bruce Christopher, "Smart questioning and scripted cooperative learning." (1997). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9060.