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Student Interaction and Learning in Small Groups

Noreen M. Webb
Review of Educational Research
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Autumn, 1982), pp. 421-445
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1170424
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Student Interaction and Learning in Small Groups
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Abstract

While research on learning in cooperative small groups has greatly increased during the past several years, few studies have focused on the interaction processes occurring within groups. This review focuses on the role of the student's experience in small group interaction in learning. Research bearing on three aspects of small group learning is examined: (1) the relationship between interaction and achievement, (2) cognitive process and social-emotional mechanisms bridging interaction and achievement, and (3) characteristics of the individual, group, and reward structure that predict interaction in small groups. Methodological and substantive issues are discussed to evaluate and integrate research findings, and as guidelines for further research. The conclusion is that an individual's role in group interaction is an important influence on learning, and that interaction can best be predicted from multiple characteristics of the individual, group, and setting.

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