Motivation in Collaborative Groups

Authored by: Toni Kempler Rogat , Lisa Linnenbrink-Garcia , Nicole Didonato

The International Handbook of Collaborative Learning

Print publication date:  February  2013
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415805735
eBook ISBN: 9780203837290
Adobe ISBN: 9781136869556


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While small groups have often been conceptualized as a “hook” for initiating an individual’s motivation for learning (Mitchell, 1993), there may be reason for reexamining this claim. Collaborative groups are increasingly prevalent, yet motivation researchers have predominantly studied individual motivation during independent learning, with few studies investigating students’ motivational responses to learning in group contexts (Järvelä, Volet, & Järvenoja, 2010). Moreover, learning with peers in groups raises challenges that may undermine rather than support an individual’s motivation. Within the small-group literature, most researchers focus on the benefits of groups for learning and achievement, but largely ignore motivational outcomes (Webb & Palincsar, 1996). Accordingly, the goal of this chapter is to synthesize extant research in order to examine the evidence for the motivational benefits and challenges of collaborative groups. This review also serves as the basis for suggesting new directions for future research.

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