Exploring the strategic potential of roles for collaboration




Starcheski, Shayla

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Collaboration is an important yet difficult skill for learners in the 21st century. Recent research has examined how supports, such as group scripts and roles, can help learners collaborate effectively. However, little is known about the perceptions learners have of these supports when provided to them. The purpose of this study was to examine (a) learner’s choices and reasonings for role choices and (b) the impact of group roles. Participants included 111 undergraduate students in a learning strategies for university success course. During the course, students completed two required collaborative tasks, including pre-task planning and a post-task reflection. Students made choices regarding roles in individual and group planning sessions and explained their reasoning for making those choices. Students frequently chose roles relating to strategic task enactment, motivation, and concept/domain knowledge in their individual and group planning sessions with their primary reasons being focused on “self” knowledge, or information about themselves, such as strengths or weaknesses. These findings suggest learners may believe these are important roles for collaboration. The reliance on “self” knowledge for making decisions may be attributed to the fact these groups were collaborating for the first and second times and may not have a plethora of group information to utilize. Contributions of this study to theory, research, and practice will be discussed.



self-regulated learning, collaboration, group roles, metacognition