Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Overcoming Barriers to Heterogeneous-Group Learning in the Political Science Classroom

  • Ryan T. Moore (a1)
Abstract
ABSTRACT

Despite positive findings, small-group activities continue to lag behind lectures in political science classrooms. This article argues that one barrier to wider adoption of more innovative activities is uncertainty about how to efficiently and fairly create teams that each are heterogeneous and as a set are balanced across relevant characteristics. We first describe recent findings and strategies for creating teams; we then detail our concrete, general approach for incorporating several student characteristics into team creation. We then describe implementations of this approach using freely available software in two undergraduate political science courses—one in American politics and one in political methodology. In these applications and in a variety of simulated data, we demonstrate that teams created using our method are better balanced than those created by randomly allocating students to teams.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Overcoming Barriers to Heterogeneous-Group Learning in the Political Science Classroom
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Overcoming Barriers to Heterogeneous-Group Learning in the Political Science Classroom
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Overcoming Barriers to Heterogeneous-Group Learning in the Political Science Classroom
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Archer Candace C., and Miller Melissa K.. 2011. “Prioritizing Active Learning: An Exploration of Gateway Courses in Political Science.” PS: Political Science and Politics 44 (2): 429–34.
Asal Victor, and Blake Elizabeth L.. 2006. “Creating Simulations for Political Science Education.” Journal of Political Science Education 2 (1): 118.
Bennion Elizabeth A. 2006. “Civic Education and Citizen Engagement: Mobilizing Voters as a Required Field Experiment.” Journal of Political Science Education 2 (2): 205–27.
Berry Michael J., and Robinson Tony. 2012. “An Entrance to Exit Polling: Strategies for Using Exit Polls as Experiential Learning Projects.” PS: Political Science and Politics 45 (3): 501505.
Bligh Donald. 1998. What’s the Use of Lectures? Exeter, England: Intellect Books.
Boeckelman Keith, Deitz Janna L., and Hardy Richard J.. 2008. “Organizing a Congressional Candidate Debate as Experiential Learning.” Journal of Political Science Education 4 (4): 435–46.
Bruffee Kenneth A. 1984. “Collaborative Learning and the ‘Conversation of Mankind’.” College English 46 (7): 635–52.
Centellas Miguel, and Love Gregory J.. 2012. “We’re Off to Replace the Wizard: Lessons from a Collaborative Group Project Assignment.” PS: Political Science and Politics 45 (3): 506–12.
Christodoulopoulos Christos E., and Papanikolaou Kyparisia A.. 2007. “A Group Formation Tool in an e-Learning Context.” In 19th International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence, 2007, Vol. 2, 117–23. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Cooper James L., and Robinson Pamela. 2000. “The Argument for Making Large Classes Seem Small.” New Directions for Teaching and Learning 2000 (81): 516.
Doherty David. 2011. “Teaching Experimental Methods: A Framework for Hands-On Modules.” Journal of Political Science Education 7: 163–72.
Gelman Andrew, and Nolan Deborah. 2002. Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks. New York: Oxford University Press.
Glazier Rebecca A. 2011. “Running Simulations without Ruining Your Life: Simple Ways to Incorporate Active Learning into Your Teaching.” Journal of Political Science Education 7 (4): 375–93.
Heller Patricia, and Hollabaugh Mark. 1992. “Teaching Problem Solving through Cooperative Grouping. Part 2: Designing Problems and Structuring Groups.” American Journal of Physics 60 (7): 637–44.
Jackson Steven F. 2013. “Political Simulations Using Excel.” Journal of Political Science Education 9 (2): 209–21.
Kalaian Sema A., and Kasim Rafe M.. 2012a. “STEM Meta-Analytic Project Introduction.” Available athttp://people.emich.edu/skalaian/stem/index.htm.
Kalaian Sema A. Rafe M. Kasim. 2012b. “Effectiveness of STEM Small Group Learning Bibliography.” Available athttp://people.emich.edu/skalaian/stem/biblio.html.
King Gary. 2006. “Publication, Publication.” PS: Political Science and Politics 39 (1):119–25.
King Gary, and Sen Maya. 2013. “How Social Science Research Can Improve Teaching.” PS: Political Science and Politics 46 (3): 621–9.
Kingdon John W. 2003. Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies. 2nd edn.New York: Longman.
Michaelsen Larry, Parmelee Dean, McMahon Kathryn K., and Levine Ruth E., eds. 2008. Team-Based Learning for Health Professions Education: A Guide to Using Small Groups for Improving Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Moore Ryan T. 2012. “Multivariate Continuous Blocking to Improve Political Science Experiments.” Political Analysis 20 (4): 460–79.
Moore Ryan T. 2014. “Replication Data for: Overcoming Barriers to Heterogeneous-Group Learning in the Political Science Classroom.” Available athttp://dx.doi.org/10.7910/DVN/26685. IQSS Dataverse Network, V1.
Moore Ryan T., and Reeves Andrew. 2011. “The Job Market’s First Steps: Using Research Tools to Simplify the Process.” PS: Political Science and Politics 44 (2): 385–91.
Moore Ryan T., and Schnakenberg Keith. 2014. blockTools: Blocking, Assignment, and Diagnosing Interference in Randomized Experiments. R package Version 0.6-1. Available at http://ryantmoore.com/software.blockTools.htm.
Nilson Linda B. 2010. Teaching at its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors. San Francisco: John Wiley.
Omelicheva Mariya Y., and Avdeyeva Olga. 2008. “Teaching with Lecture or Debate? Testing the Effectiveness of Traditional versus Active Learning Methods of Instruction.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (3): 603607.
Pollock Philip H., Hamann Kerstin, and Wilson Bruce M.. 2011. “Learning through Discussions: Comparing the Benefits of Small-Group and Large-Class Settings.” Journal of Political Science Education 7 (1): 4864.
R Core Team. 2014. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. ISBN 3-900051-07-0.
Rivera Sharon Werning, and Simons Janet Thomas. 2008. “Engaging Students through Extended Simulations.” Journal of Political Science Education 4 (3): 298316.
Rothgeb John M. 2013. “The Efficacy of Learning Teams: A Comparative Analysis.” Journal of Political Science Education 9 (3): 336–44.
Springer Leonard, Elizabeth Stanne Mary, and Donovan Samuel S.. 1999. “Effects of Small-Group Learning on Undergraduates in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology: A Meta-Analysis.” Review of Educational Research 69 (1): 2151.
Svinicki Marilla, and McKeachie Wilbert J.. 2011. McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. 13th edn. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Truby Katherine, Weiss Meredith L., and Rousseau David L.. 2014. “Teaching the Unfamiliar to a Crowd.” PS: Political Science and Politics 47 (1): 189–94.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 46 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 104 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.