This study compared individual learning with group learning. It also investigated the effects of ability grouping on achievement, instructional efficiency, and discourse during computer-based mathematics instruction. A total of 115 fifth- and sixth-grade students were classified as having high or average ability and were randomly assigned to group or individual treatments. Students in the group treatments were further assigned to heterogeneous or homogeneous dyads, according to ability. Students completed a mathematics tutorial and a posttest. Results indicated that students completed the instruction more effectively in groups than alone. Within groups, achievement and efficiency were highest for high-ability homogeneously grouped students and lowest for average-ability homogeneously grouped students. Generating and receiving help were significant predictors of achievement, and high-ability students generated and received significantly more help in homogeneous groups than in heterogeneous ones.
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