The Impact of Cooperative Learning on Students' Paragraph Writing Skills: The Case of Third Year Health Informatics Stu- dents at University of Gondar

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Muluken Abera Admasu

Abstract

This study looked into the impacts of cooperative learning on students' overall para- graph writing skills and the writing components such as content, organization, vocabu- lary, grammar, and mechanics. To this end, a true experimental study in, which partic- ipants were randomly assigned to the control and experimental groups, was employed. The participants of the study, who were selected purposively, were fifty-six third year Health lnformatics students at University of Gondar in 2018/19 academic year. The ex- perimental group accomplished the writing tasks in groups of four, whereas the control group completed the same tasks independently for six weeks. Paragraph writing tests were given before and after the intervention and the scores were analyzed through SPSS. The independent samples t-test result showed that there was no significant difference between the two groups both in their overall writing and the components of writing. The paired samples t-test result, on the other hand, indicated that both groups significantly enhanced their overall writing, content and organization; however, none of the groups got better in vocabulary and grammar and only the experimental group improved in me- chanics. Therefore, it can be concluded that cooperative learning had no better impact in improving students' writing skills than the independent learning except for mechanics. The investigation showed that the two approaches could be employed sparingly in EFL classes, but cooperative learning may be advisable when the focus is on mechanics.

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