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Teamwork: can it equip university science students with more than rigid subject knowledge?


Computers & Education Volume 31, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study is two-fold in that it is directed at understanding the influence of group constitution on group function as well as the influence of teamwork and cooperative learning on the individual's perception of the subject. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used to collect data. The quantitative method used, entailed the use of a self administered questionnaire. Belbin's team role test (Interplace) was used to constitute the teams. Unstructured interviews were used to collect the qualitative data. Computer Science students, in their third academic year, were placed in groups (or teams) at the onset of the course using Belbin's team role concept. Rather than presenting conventional lectures, students were expected to come prepared to class and to discuss personal insights gained through individual learning in a group situation. The role of the lecturer became the role of a facilitator. Access to the Internet and World Wide Web, allowed students to research topics for a presentation. E-mail enabled students to communicate freely with group members and the lecturer. The majority of students indicated that working in teams contributed to their understanding of the subject, that they gained on a personal and social level and that they have learned more in the group than they would have by learning individually. This method of teaching results in the development of positive intergroup relations and desirable prosocial behaviours which can possibly bridge the gap between tertiary education and the job market. The fact that students now seem to enjoy learning more makes this approach to learning worthy of pursuit. Present structures of our examinations are failing to adequately test the dimensions of learning we wish them to.


Blignaut, R.J. & Venter, I.M. (1998). Teamwork: can it equip university science students with more than rigid subject knowledge?. Computers & Education, 31(3), 265-279. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 30, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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