Teaching problem solving through cooperative grouping. Part 2: Designing problems and structuring groups
P. Heller, M. Hollabaugh 1992 American Journal of Physics 60(7) p637-644
From Abstract -- A supportive environment based on cooperative grouping was developed to foster students'learning of an effective problem-solving strategy. Experiments to adapt the technique of
cooperative grouping to physics problem solving were carried out in two diverse settings: a large
introductory course at state university, and a small modem physics class at a community college.
Groups were more likely to use an effective problem-solving strategy when given context-rich
problems to solve than when given standard textbook problems. Well-functioning cooperative
groups were found to result from specific structural and management procedures governing
group members' interactions. Group size, the gender and ability composition of groups, seating
arrangement, role assignment, textbook use, and group as well as individual testing were all found
to contribute to the problem-solving performance of cooperative groups.