Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Siri Anderson




This action research project investigated the impact of collaborative grouping on students’ engagement in three middle level STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) classrooms. Research was conducted in two rural and one urban setting. Four data collection tools were used: A semantic rating scale (student questionnaire), teacher observations, student interviews, and teacher journaling. Data was categorized into three domains of student engagement: emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. Teamwork strategies were overtly taught to students before the study with additional instruction during the observation process as needed. While quantitative evidence implied a slight decrease in preference for collaborative learning by student’s self-report, qualitative data showed positive results across the implementation. Research findings support the finding that collaborative grouping has a positive impact on student learning and fosters socialemotional skills beneficial for overall functioning in today’s environment. Our findings suggest that middle-level classrooms benefit from incorporating collaborative learning activities when preceded by intentional group formation, instruction on how to participate effectively as a member of a collaborative team, and supplemented by re-teaching of group skills or re-grouping, as indicated by evidence of student engagement.

Included in

Education Commons