Pairwork in Learning (not groups or singletons)

What are the factors?

  • Complementary skills, strengths and personality traits are relative to the task at hand.
  • Pairs have the least amount of coordination costs
  • Dialectic Creativity. With a partner, its “hard to put out bs and let it stand.” This moves the process from a mental debate to a real debate.
  • Coordination Costs include negotiation, decisions, distribution of work, synchronizing information. These costs are at least linear and more likely quadratic in relation to team size.
  • Motivational Leveling. We all have motivation swings, pairs put this in check.
  • Negotiation in Miniature.  Instead of having different people to “side with,” the individuals in a pair have to negotiate simply.

The goal is to build three models that can be quantified to compare individual vs. pair work

In his paper, they have algebraically modeled three of the above and provided a mathematical basis to understand the gains in pairwork.

Implication: Give pairs more attention

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