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How Group Dynamics Affect Student Learning

The research is clear: students can learn from and with each other in groups. But that learning is not the automatic, inevitable outcome of small group interactions. Dysfunctional group dynamics, such as free riding, leadership problems, poor time management, and unaddressed conflict frequently compromise learning outcomes. Faculty have tackled these problems with a variety of strategies, but few of their approaches have been tested empirically. The study below starts by exploring group dynamics details that may counter some of these dysfunctions.

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