Nunes. L. D., & Ravai, G., Erdei, R.
Manuscript submitted for publication.
The way students perceive themselves and their theories of learning influence their learning behavior (Dweck, 2006). Thus, it is important to implement learning activities that have a positive impact on students’ self-beliefs. Informal cooperative learning, which occurs when students work together to achieve common learning goals (Johnson and Johnson, 2002), seems to have such positive effects. Here, we redesigned a computer science course to include cooperative learning activities. Students’ self-perceptions were measured at the beginning and end of the semesters. Overall, students showed an increase in their self-concept and self-beliefs about programming abilities. Students’ performance was also measured and results point at an increased performance and better letter grades after the redesign. Taken together, these results suggest that cooperative learning can be a powerful tool to boost students’ self-perceptions and has a positive impact in student performance.
Keywords: informal cooperative learning, Social interdependence theory, Control-value theory, student success, higher education