Application of Kagan’s Cooperative Learning Structures to Maximize Student Engagement: An Action Research
Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science,
Aims: This action research attempted to apply and evaluate the impact of Kagan’s Cooperative Learning Structures at Gedu College of Business Studies.
Study design: Lim’s  Balanced Action Research Model was used in this action research as it captures wide range of action research processes and provides the researchers to validate one's actions through critical analyses and reflections.
Place and duration of study: The study was conducted in one college under the Royal University of Bhutan for a period of one year (2019-2020).
Sample: One first-year Management class was selected as the focus of this action research using purposive sampling technique. Observation and a five-point Likert scale questionnaire were used as data collection tools. There were 45 students and all of them participated in filling out the questionnaire.
Methodology: Data were collected using observation and questionnaire. Observation data were analysed using content analysis technique. Out of two general categories of content analysis (conceptual analysis and relational analysis), the researchers used conceptual analysis. A five-point Likert scale questionnaire was administered to collect data on CL structures and student engagement, its feasibility and impact. Responses from the completed questionnaires were entered into SPSS for descriptive analysis.
Results: The findings revealed that CL structures like team builders, class builders and team cheers helped the students know their friends better, created a positive learning environment and helped in gaining and retaining students’ attention. Similarly, the findings revealed that CL structures helped in developing positive interdependence and individual accountability, ensured equal participation and encouraged simultaneous interaction in the class. In contrast, the findings revealed that small classroom size, large class strength and classroom furniture that do not support CL structures hindered the application of CL structures.
Conclusion: In view of these findings, the researchers recommend that the college plan and come up with classrooms and furniture that support the CL structures in teaching and learning. Further, the college should bring the class strength down as per the teacher-student ratio maintained by the Royal University of Bhutan and provide training and workshops to teachers on CL structures. Finally, teachers should make use of CL structures while teaching to engage, encourage and empower the learners.
- Kagan’s cooperative learning structures
- student engagement
- transformative pedagogy
- action research
- tertiary education
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