Department of Physiotherapy. University of Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 6978-6982
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Cooperative learning (CL) is considered by specialists as one of the most representative methods that implements cooperation in the classroom. It involves students working in teams to accomplish a common goal, including positive interdependence, individual accountability, face-to-face promotive interaction, appropriate use of collaborative skills and group processing.
This method enhances learning in several ways. A large number of research studies of CL in higher education have been conducted, with most of them yielding to a wide variety of positive results in improving academic performance, knowledge acquisition, persistence in working toward a goal, intrinsic motivation, and generating a positive interaction between students.
However, the advantages of this teaching-learning method in the field of university education have not been yet well demonstrated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of CL on motivation, satisfaction and academic achievement among university students of the Physiotherapy degree.

A sample of 183 students, divided into groups of 15 members, implemented a collaborative groupwork in the third year of the Physiotherapy degree, through the subject Physiotherapy in Clinical Specialties III (PCSIII). Students were instructed on collaboration instead of competition and were advised about role performance.
A closed 5-point scale survey, consisting of 11 items, was carried out in order to assess students motivation and satisfaction. CL groupwork and global marks were collected as a measure to evaluate academic achievement (in terms of knowledge acquisition and content assimilation). In order to obtain objective data from this outcome, these marks were compared to the marks obtained by the same students on a traditional non-cooperative groupwork developed in the context of another subject.

The main benefits reported among students were learning facilitation (85.27%), motivation (72.87%) and knowledge acquisition (69.77%). Moreover, both groupwork and global subject marks from PCSIII were higher (85.5% succeeded the subject, 79.2% with excellent mark in groupwork) than the marks from the subject requiring a non-cooperative groupwork (72.1% succeeded the subject, 22.4% with excellent mark in groupwork).

The CL groupwork was considered by physiotherapy students as a useful motivational and learning facilitation tool which enhances the teaching-learning method in the physiotherapy students community
Global and groupwork marks showed that the CL groupwork seems to be a useful tool to enhance academic achievement in the physiotherapy students community.
Cooperative learning, pedagogical innovation.