Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Natasha Yates




This action research investigation studied the impacts that teaching specific group processes to cooperative learning groups had on students’ success in a middle school STEM classroom. The participants of this study were fifth grade students enrolled in a STEM course. During the five weeks of this study, students were explicitly taught how to create accountability and interdependence in their cooperative learning groups by learning about specific group roles and communication strategies. Data was collected through weekly self-reflections, videos, teacher observations, daily exit slips, and pre- and post-assessments. The results of this study indicated that students were more engaged in their tasks, gained better understanding of certain portions of the engineering design process, and created positive interdependence within their groups. Because of these conclusions, the researcher suggests the following courses of action: utilizing pre- and post-assessments to help determine students’ content understanding, specifically teaching group roles and interdependence strategies, allowing for student reflection, and monitoring learning groups for accountability and interdependence.

Keywords: cooperative learning groups, group processes, engineering design process, interdependence, accountability, engagement

Included in

Education Commons