Effects of Students' Identity Salience on Their Attitudes Toward and Experience in Face-to-face Peer Collaborative Learning Activities

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Virginia Tech


This sequential, mixed methods study explored students' attitudes towards collaborative learning and their responses to collaborative learning problems in relation to their identity salience. Identities are motivators of human actions that impact an individual's self-esteem and behavioral tendencies (Stryker, 1968). An individual has three identity aspects that are related to different behavioral tendencies: individual, relational, and collective aspects. The identity aspect that an individual acts out across a variety of situations is their identity salience. Implied by the identity salience theory, students' behaviors may be detrimental or beneficial to the effectiveness of collaborative learning based on their identity salience. Results of the study revealed a possible relationship between students' identity salience and their attitudes, prior experiences, working preferences, and priorities in collaborative learning. In addition, results of the study also disclosed students' behavioral tendencies in dealing with collaborative learning problems including group tension, the free-rider effect, and role taking in relation to students' identity salience. Findings of this study can be used to support further investigations on personalized student grouping for effective collaborative learning.



collaborative learning, identity salience