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Using Many Minds To Enhance Learning
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Using Many Minds To Enhance Learning


Tina Hartney's BLC7 presentation.

Tina Hartney's BLC7 presentation.

Published in Education , Technology
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  • Only one copy of the exam is given to the group (the same one that they just completed individually) and a single answer form is generated. This forces all students in the group to work closely together. Questions are read aloud, discussed, and an answer drawn on the basis of consensus.


  • 1. Using Many Minds to Enhance Learning Tina Hartney, Cal Poly Pomona BLC 2010 Turning isolated learning efforts into collaborative group efforts
  • 2. How informal study groups work
    • Participation is voluntary.
    • Groups form without instructor involvement.
      • Consist of at least 3 and not more than 7 members
      • Meet for at least 1 hr on 2 separate occasions between exams
      • Complete a group roster form each time they meet.
    • Groups determine their own meeting agenda (study guides, practice questions, discussions of difficult concepts, oral quizzing)
    • May be formed, reconstituted, or dissolved before each exam
  • 3. Group exam pay-offs
    • Somber, quiet exam periods turn into energetic and raucous occasions.
    • Students earn bonus points depending on their group’s performance.
    • Immediately seeing test questions a 2 nd time allows:
      • students to gauge their individual success
      • learn from their individual mistakes
      • misconceptions to be dispelled
    • Test days are less anxiety ridden, more fun, and another opportunity to learn.
    • Students accept responsibility for their failures, as well as successes.
  • 4. Is individual performance enhanced? Who knows? I do know that:
    • Participation rates are high (up to 83%)
    • An average of 74% (13 sections) of students agree or strongly agree that study groups are an effective and fun way of learning.
    • Up to 73% of students continue to participate in study groups even when no rewards are provided.
    • Besides a little bit of extra book keeping, this is a win-win strategy!