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The Effects of Prior Knowledge of Students within Dyads on Learning Outcome

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Collaborative learning is a potential technique for teachers to use to meet the diverse learning needs of the students in their classrooms. Previous studies have investigated the contexts in which

Collaborative learning is a potential technique for teachers to use to meet the diverse learning needs of the students in their classrooms. Previous studies have investigated the contexts in which the benefits of collaborative learning show greater presence. The most important factor found was the quality of the interactions. Studies have suggested that high achieving students are capable of improving the quality of interactions. This bears the question if prior knowledge plays an influence in the learning outcome of students in collaborative learning. Results show that high prior knowledge students do not face a detriment in having low prior knowledge students as a partner comparing to having another high prior knowledge student and that low prior knowledge students show significantly higher learning outcome when partnered with a high prior knowledge partner than with another low prior knowledge student. It is therefore likely that having a high prior knowledge student within a dyad improves the quality of interaction, resulting in greater learning outcome through collaborative learning.

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  • 2014-05