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This study compared cooperative learning with individual learning in an introductory college electrical engineering course, using attitudinal and cognitive measures. Cooperative learning activities were implemented in homework assignments in one section of the course, while individual homework assignments were used in two other sections. A total of 79 students participated in the study, 19 of whom volunteered to enroll in the cooperative learning section. A 30-item questionnaire was administered at the beginning and again at the end of the course to assess the students' attitudes toward cooperative learning. Classroom observations, homework group observations, and individual interviews were used to assess cognitive factors. The results indicated that students in the cooperative learning section were initially more positively disposed toward cooperative learning than were students in the other two sections, but were more concerned about fairness in grading and workload as well. It was also found that students in the cooperative learning section significantly strengthened their belief that explaining problem-solving processes to others was an effective method for understanding or learning new material. An appendix provides a copy of the questionnaire. (Contains 44 references.) (MDM)

Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, College Instruction, College Students, Cooperative Learning, Educational Attitudes, Engineering Education, Grading, Higher Education, Homework, Problem Solving, Questionnaires, Student Attitudes

Autor: Kim, J.-B.; Cohen, A. S.; Booske, J. H.; Derry, S. J.


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