Publications & Resources

Productive Helping in Cooperative Groups

Dec 2001

Noreen M. Webb, Sydney H. Farivar, and Ann M. Mastergeorge

The past 20 years have seen a tremendous increase in the use of peer-directed collaborative group work both in classroom instruction and in assessments to give students an opportunity to learn from each other. Using examples drawn from a program of peer learning in middle school mathematics, this paper identifies a set of helping behaviors that best predict learning in collaborative small groups. Specifically, this paper describes conditions that must be satisfied for helping behavior to be effective and the responsibilities of students seeking help, students giving help, and teachers to make helping productive for learning.

Webb, N. M., Farivar, S. H., & Mastergeorge, A. M. (2001). Productive helping in cooperative groups (CSE Report 555). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).