Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Instr and Curr Leadership


Instruction and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Shirley Ann Key

Committee Member

Mary Ransdell

Committee Member

Karen Weddle-West

Committee Member

Kay Churchill Reeves


The researcher of this study examined the perceptions and use of cooperative learning by community college faculty members. The researcher used the survey method as part of a quantitative, descriptive research. The participants for the study were 148 faculty members who taught at least one face-to-face class during the spring semester of 2011 at a southern urban community college. Cooperative learning brings students together to work in small groups to enhance their own learning and that of their peers. Research identifies it as a pedagogical and andragogical approach that increases the academic and social gains of students. There is limited evidence of community college faculty use of cooperative learning in educational environments, which might increase the success of students at this level. However, the diverse student population of the community college suggests that cooperative learning may be an effective teaching strategy for use at this level of higher education. The findings revealed that only 17% of the faculty reported to use cooperative learning at least "largely"or on a regular basis in their current classes. However, the faculty reported quality in their use of cooperative learning was considerably higher, with as much as 50% at least "largely"structuring their classes to enable students to work actively together and 67% reporting that their students at least "largely" actively participated in their learning groups, thus ensuring the key cooperative learning principle of positive interdependence. Sixty-seven percent of the faculty members also reported that students in their cooperative learning groups at least "largely" demonstrated the cooperative learning principle of individual accountability by completing their share of work. Faculty perceptions for this study were grouped based on cost of implementation, value of cooperative learning, and expectancy of success with the use of cooperative learning. The faculty reported high levels of perception in all perception categories. The results of the study indicated that the community college faculty members do not perceive cooperative learning as a costly instructional strategy and that they perceive cooperative learning as a valued teaching strategy. They also have high expectancy of success for its use with college students.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.