Date of Award

12-1997

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Uldis Smidchens

Second Advisor

Dr. Katherine Manley

Third Advisor

Dr. Zoe Barley

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of a deliberate, planned cooperative learning environment on the attitudes, social skills, and processing of baccalaureate nursing students. A convenience sample of 43 students (Registered Nurses) randomly assigned to one of eight cooperative learning groups were the subjects for this study. Cooperative learning was used as a teaching methodology for the entire class of 15 weeks duration. The study sought to answer the following questions: (a) What effect does a deliberate, planned cooperative learning environment have on the attitudes of BSN (Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing) students toward group work? (b) What effect does a deliberate, planned cooperative learning environment have on the frequency of the BSN student’s social skills? and (c) What effect does a deliberate, planned cooperative learning environment have on the BSN student’s ability to process?

This study was a one group pretest-posttest design in which observations and testing were made before and after the treatment variable was introduced. Attitudes toward group work were measured using two different instruments pre- and immediately postintervention as well as 2 months later. Comfort in using social skills and the student’s perceptions of the usage of these same social skills were measured pre- and immediately postintervention. To document the frequency of social skills when exhibited by each group member, faculty observations of each cooperative learning group were completed twice during the semester, utilizing a checklist of the six social skills. In measuring the student’s ability to process, a series of two open ended questions was utilized pre- and postintervention.

Attitudes, social skill usage, and comfort in usage improved (p < .05) from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester. Attitudes remained at that level (p < .05) 2 months postintervention. The ability to process demonstrated improvement through the direction, specificity, and quality of change in the use of social skills. This study was based on the importance to higher education in producing educated, responsible, well-prepared people for the cooperative workplace. These affective cooperative skills are an essential component o f this preparation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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