COOPERATIVE LEARNING AT UNIVERSITY JAUME I: STUDENTS VALUES OF A PEDAGOGIC INITIATIVE WITH COOPERATIVE SKILLS WORKSHOPS
This paper shows a cooperative learning experience developed in the Permanent Seminar of Educational Innovation University (SPIEU) at Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón (Spain). Seminars are defined as specialized meetings trying to develop a deep study on a particular topic, providing an active learning to the participants through a reciprocal cooperation. To achieve this propose SPIEU have monthly meetings where works about methodological issues, assessment standards or regulations of higher education.
This seminar has a long career working on application and dissemination of cooperative learning experiences in higher education. In this way, we consider the need to clarify what cooperative learning means. Johnson and Johnson (1999) understand that it’s the didactic use of small students groups, in which they work together to maximize their colleagues and their own learning through shared goals.
In this framework, raised the need to work on social and communication student’s skills before implement the cooperative techniques in their classroom. Those abilities are required to work on a cooperative way. For this purpose, we organized "cooperative skills workshops" for 2 hours with the students of the subject Marketing Basics of the Business Administration, Finance and Accounting degree and Economics degree of the Universitat Jaume I. In this subject there are seven groups of students and 477 students enrolled.
Once organized the workshops, emerged the need of the present study, whose goal is to understand the student’s perceptions on these workshops and settle on most valued aspects that help us to understand the potential of cooperative learning.
To do this, we conducted a survey study. The sample consists of a total of 396 students from the UJI’s degrees mentioned above. In order to explore their perceptions we use a questionnaire of an item with a Likert scale of 1 to 4 and also an open question with a descriptive response. This questionnaire was posted on the virtual classroom/platform, where students accessed through their personal page and fill it having done the workshops.
Regarding the analysis of the data was performed according to the types of questions contained in the questionnaire. In relation to the item on overall satisfaction (Likert scale) we analyzed frequencies and percentages through SPSS 17.0. With the information from the open question, we conducted a content analysis with the computer tool MAXqda 10 for data structuring.
The results of this study shows the great satisfaction of the students to this kind of pedagogic initiatives and experiences. Moreover to demonstrate key issues such as the value that is given to the consolidation of a good classroom atmosphere, mutual understanding, trust ... The students value positively the introduction of cooperative learning in the classroom as mechanisms to facilitate the involvement and active participation of all students in the activities that occur in the classroom.