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Group participation and satisfaction: results from a PBL computer-supported module.

 Special education policy requires schools to make disciplinary
 decisions concerning students with disabilities within a
 multidisciplinary team. In order to respond to this mandate,
 teacher educators must ensure that teachers have group
 collaboration and decision making skills. This article describes
 a multimedia problem-based learning module designed to develop
 group collaboration skills through a simulated activity of a
 student with disabilities found in possession of drugs in
 school. The study explored the group decision-making process and
 measured individuals' satisfaction and participation using a
 modified version of Olaniran's satisfaction questionnaire.
 Results indicated (a) that the group decision was more strongly
 influenced by one or a minority of individuals instead of the
 majority and (b) while satisfaction ratings and contribution
 during group work score results were high, videotaped
 observations showed unequal contributions by individuals. A
 discussion is provided about the impact of individual group
 members on the group and the disparity between satisfaction
 ratings and actual participation during the group
 decision-making process and recommendations for future research


Current educational policy requires schools to collaborate in multidisciplinary teams to identify and respond to the needs of students with a wide range of learning and behavioral disabilities. In fact, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997 prohibits a single person from making unilateral decisions, particularly when it comes to disciplining students with disabilities. Policy mandates notwithstanding, teacher educators recognize the value of developing group collaboration skills in future educators.

Group work is used extensively in higher education and its benefits include more interaction among students, time for students to participate simultaneously and learn from each other, and higher student participation in guiding discussions (Holen, 2000; Williams & Williams, 1997). Despite its benefits, group work may also produce negative outcomes (Knotek, 2003), including unequal group participation during the group-decision making process. To be sure, the group decision-making process is complex and not always inclusive of all group members' opinions. In a study examining interactions among members of a multidisciplinary team during problem-solving, Knotek (2003) found that members of the team with high social power and influence greatly influenced the way in which the larger team acted. He found that team members adopted the language of the high status team members and their conceptualization of the problem. Holen (2000) noted that group members tacitly assume different roles that may sometimes be uneven and hierarchical, resisting change once they are established. According to Olaniran (1996) group work may engender social loafing, or free-loading, in others. Like Holen (2000), Olaniran noted that participation in a group is influenced by status hierarchy and proposes that unequal participation among group members increases production blocking. Therefore, to promote more equal participation among group members and to ensure that all students reach the objectives of educational content that courses intend to transmit to students educators ought to examine group work more closely to determine the nature of group work and how groups arrive at decisions.

Olaniran (1996) presented a model of individual member satisfaction in the group decision-making process. Satisfaction is the sum of an individual's negative and positive feelings to a set of variables, and which tend to revolve around three common variables; (a) status consensus, (b) goal accomplishment or progress toward the group goal, and (c) participation. Participation represents the level of individual contribution to the communication process and satisfaction depends on participation. Therefore, satisfaction is high when members feel included and think they have participated. Conversely, satisfaction is low when members feel excluded and think they have not participated. Furthermore, participation depends on production blocking (lack of opportunity to voice one's opinions). Therefore, participation is high when there are low levels of production blocking. Conversely, participation decreases when there are high levels of production blocking and finally, production blocking leads to social loafing or free riding.

This study describes a problem-based learning (PBL) activity designed to develop group collaboration skills in preservice teachers using a computer-supported unit. The main focus of the study was to examine preservice teachers' decision making process. More specifically, the study posed two related questions: Is there a difference between individual responses and group responses to questions within the module? Are individuals satisfied with their team members' contribution of group work? The sections that follow describe the module and the procedures implemented in a teacher preparation course.

The PBL Module: A Simulation of the Decision-Making Process for Disciplining Students with Disabilities

The Disability and School Discipline (D&SD) module is a computer-supported unit (taught in a semester-long course) that incorporates the process of disciplining students with disabilities as mandated by special education policy (i.e., the IDEA). The module follows a theoretical framework conceptualized by Gerber and applied in the development of Caselink multimedia problem-based learning modules (see Gerber, English, & Singer, 1999). The module is used in conjunction with course lectures and readings. Users access information about the case through a selection of multimedia (text, photograph stills, audio, & video) hyper-linked options.

The module uses a hypothetical case of a student facing suspension from school due to possession of drugs and consists of three sequential phases: Narrative, Role Strands, and Problem Resolution. Ochoa (2002) provided a detailed description of the entire module and the reader may access the module at The Narrative section of the module and its accompanying activity are described in this article.

As indicated in Figure 1, the Narrative introduces users to the educational problem and provides background information about the incident and the student. Users learn about the problem through text information and are informed that Sebastian, the fictional high school student portrayed in the module, was found in possession of marijuana on school premises three days ago.

Also displayed in Figure 1 (A-G) are the options available for users to learn more about Sebastian's case. Users are free to access information in any given order. Option A of Figure 1 displays the entire information from the school principal as users see it in the module. The information is available in text or in audio and the user can choose one or the other or both. The Contact School Principal link (A) provides the learners information about the school's rules and codes of conduct as well as a glimpse of what the school principal thinks about Sebastian and how he takes advantage of his special education status. From the principal, users learn that the school has a zero tolerance for disruptive behavior. By selecting the Contact Mother link option (B), participants hear and read about the drug incident from the student's mother perspective and they can infer from this link that Sebastian's mother feels overwhelmed and unable to control her son's behavior. Through the same link, users also learn that Sebastian has a younger brother, and that his grandmother advises Mrs. Smith to use corporal punishment with Sebastian. From the Contact School Psychologist option (C) users learn that Sebastian's school attendance is inconsistent and that his school records have not arrived from his previous school. The Phone contact with Social Worker link (D) is the only point in which users hear a professional who talks about Sebastian's strengths, insecurities, and fears, and the changes in his behavior when he does not take his medication. Users also have the option of hearing from the student by accessing the Sebastian link (E). From this link, trainees have an option to read and/or hear Sebastian complain that Mr. Johnson, the school principal, hates him and wants to kick him out of school. They also hear Sebastian say that he hates school and is uncaring about being suspended or expelled from school. The Read note from Math Teacher link (F) contains a statement from his math teacher indicating that Sebastian, albeit delinquent in many homework assignments, likes math. Finally, through the See IEP link (G), learners can view Sebastian's individualized education plan (IEP) and the behavior intervention plan written by the school for Sebastian. Users can return to any of the links as often and as freely as they choose.

At the end of the information search, users complete an activity in which they are required to provide their interpretation of the problem and make decisions about the student in the module. Activity 1, as shown in Figure 1, requires each user to frame the problem by answering questions related to Sebastian's strengths and weaknesses, his needs, and how professionals respond to Sebastian. Learners who need to reread or rehear available information to answer the questions in Activity 1 may return to the narrative to continue to search for information. After answering the questions independently and submitting their answers to the course instructor electronically, they also print out their answers and meet in their assigned groups to make a group decision on the same questions.

Empirical Support for PBL

As indicated previously, the module follows a problem-based learning (PBL) framework that according to PBL researchers (e.g., Albion & Gibson, 2000; Bridges & Hallinger, 1995; Ochoa et al., 2001; Savery & Duffy, 1995) is an effective teaching approach in the preparation of future professionals. Problem-based learning, an instructional approach first developed in medical schools, provides students with real-life problems to solve as a way of preparing them for their future professions (Savery & Duffy, 1995). In PBL, students are assigned to teams that are responsible for framing the problem and deciding how to use knowledge to solve the problem or accomplish a task at hand (Engel, 1997; Williams & Williams, 1997). Problem-based learning posits that knowledge of practice alone, even with accompanying memorization of a vast inventory of facts, cannot produce good practitioners who have the kind of thinking needed for multidimensional decisions that real-life problems require (Bridges & Hallinger, 1995; Engel, 1997). Thus, the goals of PBL are to familiarize students with the types of problems they will face in the future, acquaint students with relevant knowledge, foster the application of skills, and develop problem solving skills and the execution and implementation of solutions (Gerber, English, & Singer, 1999; Savery & Duffy, 1995). The following section is a description of the procedures implemented in one undergraduate teacher preparation course that used the Disabilities and School Discipline (D&SD) module to develop group collaboration skills in future educators of students with disabilities.


The design for this research used a qualitative methodology to approach the issue of group work participation from a holistic perspective. There are concerns with the use of survey research, specifically the correspondence between what individuals report and what actually occurs (Fowler, 1993). Therefore, it is important to closely examine group work in order to measure the learning outcomes for each individual. Only by closely examining the perspective of the individuals involved and by closely observing groups "in action" can we begin to understand how groups form decisions. Qualitative research considers the perspectives and values of all participants by emphasizing full participation through a variety of measures (Stainback & Stainback, 1989). The following describes the participants, setting, and variety of data collection categories used in this study.

Participants and Setting

Thirty-five undergraduate elementary education majors (3 males and 32 females) enrolled in a course on special education at a large, mid-western university participated in the study. This course is the only one on special education required for elementary level education majors. The course met for 75 minutes twice per week and was taught by the first author who also developed the module.

Data Collection Procedures

The D&SD PBL module was used within this required course in conjunction with lectures and readings as part of a unit, within a semester-long course required for elementary education majors, on the discipline of students with disabilities. Participants were randomly assigned to six groups, identified by colors, and consisting of five to six members per group (Table 1 provides the number of participants per group). The problem-based learning discipline activity took place over three class periods. In day one students listened to a lecture (lasting approximately 60 minutes) on the discipline of students with disabilities and were assigned to groups at the end of the class period. After group assignments were made, participants were directed to view the narrative and complete the Activity 1 individually and outside of class (see Figure 1 for a graphical description of the narrative and accompanying activity). The activity consisted of answering two sets of questions about Sebastian, the hypothetical student in the module. In the following class session, the participants met in their assigned groups and generated a group response to the same two sets of questions in the narrative. Group discussions were videotaped. Due to limitations with cameras on that particular day of taping only four groups were videotaped. (Yellow, n=6; Turquoise n=6; Green, n=5; Blue, n=6). Groups were chosen for videotaping out of convenience by the university video technology staff. In an effort to reduce noise that would interfere with recording, groups were spread out in two different classrooms (three in each classroom). Each group was responsible for turning the camera on and off. At the end of this class session, all groups submitted their answers to the narrative activity. As the final requirement for this activity, individuals were asked to complete a group satisfaction and participation questionnaire (see Appendix A).

The first six questions on the questionnaire were 5-point Likert scale items adapted from Olaniran's (1996) satisfaction questionnaire. The questions were designed to measure satisfaction with the group process. The second part of the questionnaire was an open-ended question that asked participants to describe their teams' experience including what worked well, problems that they encountered, and how they were resolved. The third and last part of the questionnaire asked participants to list themselves and their group members and estimate, using a 5-point scale, how prepared each group member was and the extent to which each member contributed to the group discussion.

Data Analysis

Data was analyzed from various sources: (a) module activity open-ended questions for individuals and groups, (b) satisfaction and participation questionnaire, and (c) the videotapes. Close attention was paid to the various responses of the students, as well as to the concurrent interpersonal process in which the group members discussed, negotiated, and settled upon ways to characterize Sebastian and to address the manifestation determination issue. The data analysis was aimed at discovering the impact the group process had on individual student opinions about Sebastian's case. Specifically, we were interested in determining the impact the group process had on individual responses. Data were analyzed using Glaser and Strauss' (1967) grounded theory approach of open coding. Analysis began by reading through all data. Impressions were noted in the margins and used to identify initial coding categories (Strauss & Corbin, 1993). Once this initial coding was complete all data went through a "cut and paste" method where statements were placed into broad themes relating to group work. For example, a folder was labeled with the theme "Sebastian's academic needs" and all examples of this theme were filed together. Multiple copies of data were made so they could be sorted into more than one category. Initial themes included (but were not limited to) father figure, respect, needs to be held accountable, is good in math, is a leader, can be caring, and doesn't realize consequences.

As analysis progressed, many of these themes were refined and combined. For example, the themes is good in math, is a leader, and can be caring were combined under the "overarching" category of Sebastian's strengths. The final categories included Sebastian's strengths and weaknesses, his academic needs, if Sebastian had a disability at the time of the incident, if that disability impeded his ability to control his behavior, and general group work comments. Descriptive statistics were computed on numerical items in the satisfaction and participation questionnaire. To summarize data collection and analysis procedures, individual and group answers to activity one, individual answers to the group satisfaction questionnaire, and the videotape transcriptions were used as the primary source of data while the observational notes were used to confirm or disconfirm findings.


The research focused on examining preservice teachers' group decision-making process and posed two related questions: (a) Is there a difference between individual responses compared to group responses to questions within the modules? (b) Are individuals satisfied with their team members' contribution of group work? The first set of questions in the narrative activity relates to issues about the case student's strengths and weaknesses and how people respond to him. The second set are the manifestation determination questions mandated by IDEA.

Individual versus Group Responses About Sebastian's Strengths and Weaknesses

Overall, all group answers reflected individual answers in the area of Sebastian's strengths. One group (Yellow) recorded Sebastian's strengths as "he is a leader in his class, he is expressive in stating his negative emotions and feelings, he is warm and charming when given the chance, and he excels at math." Another group (Turquoise) indicated two strengths, "he knows something is wrong and he is a little different from other children his age" and "math." An individual recorded response from EH, "he wants help and he shows interest in his social worker and her family," is not included in the group response. The Green group recorded Sebastian's strengths as, "he's a bright student because he's good at math, and the fact that he has friends is an indicator of compassion and friendliness." This is a reflective compilation of their individual responses. The Blue group's recorded answer was: "The social worker says he can be charming. It appears he has the characteristics to be a leader, however negative that may be. We think he is good in math, because he supposedly enjoyed math at his old school. He also knows he has some sort of a problem."

This was fairly reflective of individual answers, except that individual EB also responded that Sebastian has a "soft, caring side," and individual PH responded that "he can be caring and helpful."

In response to the question about the student's weaknesses, most group answers were a collective compilation of individual responses. The Yellow group, however, showed some omission. On videotape, individuals in the Yellow group were observed discussing weaknesses that focused on external factors. These included a new school, lack of information about Sebastian's disability, the fact that he is "misunderstood" and treated "as a problem" by his teachers, and that he is "frightened." However, upon examination of the written group responses, these weaknesses did not get recorded in the group's written responses. In sharp contrast to the videotape, the group's recorder (LM) wrote, "he doesn't trust easily, he victimizes himself, he has poor attendance, he is failing classes, and he is apathetic about rules and consequences." Further, an analysis of the Yellow group's individual responses reveals that some answers are not included in group responses. For example, individual MD recorded, "Sebastian doesn't know right from wrong. He does not realize there are consequences for his actions." In the videotape of the group during discussion, however, MD only indicated that "Sebastian sets himself up to be the victim ... he just doesn't care," a contradiction to the written response of not knowing right from wrong. In the individual response, RH recorded that Sebastian "does not know how to communicate with his teachers or mother" and "he does not know how to get along in social situations." However, upon viewing the video of the group during discussion, the researchers observed that RH only shared Sebastian's weaknesses indicating, "his social skills are really bad," and "he doesn't trust the majority of people." These individuals did not discuss these views during group work; therefore LM, as group recorder, wrote "apathetic toward rules and consequences" and "exhibits weakness when it comes to following school rules."

The Turquoise group recorded three weaknesses, "social skills, does not do homework, and does not attend school on a regular basis." This reflects both group and individual answers. In the Green group, the recorder asked everyone what they put down for an answer. SS then compiled some, but not all, answers. The Green group recorded Sebastian's weaknesses as, "low self esteem, holds feelings inside, and he could also have a behavior problem." Individual answers omitted include "does not follow rules," "disruptive at school," "no male role model," "encourages others to misbehave," and "has not many friends." The Blue group recorded the following weaknesses: "he's easily frustrated in and with school; he doesn't go to the school psychologist because he doesn't attend school regularly; and he doesn't know how to help himself." This is reflective of individual answers, except that two members, BW and PH also stressed that "rarely turning in homework" was also a weakness.

What are Sebastian's needs? Here, again, group and individual responses are generally similar. In the Yellow group, however, responses for Sebastian's needs do differ from individual responses. After analyzing the videotape, it appeared that, as discussion continued, group responses became more removed from initial individual answers. During group discussion, RH begins by saying, "I think he needs to learn respect." JG then says, "I think he needs someone that is consistently caring and pushing for him. Group recorder, LM writes "Sebastian needs a stable supportive person in his life to help him see the value in following the rules and behaving well." RH's comment about "learning respect" is omitted. MD then says, "I think he has to understand the consequences of his actions." LM records "needs to understand consequences." LM then says, "I think that he needs really badly someone who believes in him and tries to understand him because he has people who are just telling him that he's a bad person, he has no motivation to change the way he acts." LM then writes, "He needs to understand consequences" and "He needs to receive support and positive reinforcement from faculty and administration." LM also writes, "He needs help at home because he has no father figure." Individual responses omitted from the group response include, "He needs to learn respect," he needs a more personalized education where he can learn more one on one," "he needs more support. The school he is in right now does not help Sebastian."

The Turquoise group discussed Sebastian's needs, without discussing "why" they saw them as such. The facilitator for that group, AS, did not record individual responses and the final group answers were typed as a group. For a final group answer, the Turquoise group said, "Sebastian needs attention and needs to know that someone cares about him. He also needs someone who believes in him and his abilities." Several individual answers, however, were omitted from the group's collective response. KI, for example said, "He needs to be held fully responsible for his actions. And I don't agree with the part of his IEP that only requires him to have 70% of his work completed. I feel that's sending a message that he is not smart enough to do all of it." GW said "he seems to be getting attention in all the bad ways." RK said, "if he did not have an audience who laughs at what he does, then he would be able to concentrate at school."

The Green group recorded that Sebastian "needs help from the school to stay on task because if he is staying on task, this might lessen his tendency for behavior problems." They also recorded that a positive role model might help him "change the way he behaves." This reflects all individual responses except one from LM's individual response, "he needs to take medication." It is unclear why LM did not share this during the group discussion. The Blue group recorded that Sebastian needs:
 A father figure which would give him stability. He is also known to
 have problems associating with males and needs to learn how to
 interact with them and others. He needs stability throughout his
 entire life, school, family, and friends, etc. He needs direction in
 his schooling, to gain friends, and possibly needs to try a
 different approach for education.

Again, it is unclear why individuals indicated one answer in their individual responses and did not voice their opinions during group work.

The second set of questions participants responded to were the manifestation determination questions stated in the IDEA mandate that all school personnel must respond to when disciplining students with disabilities. Table 1 provides individual versus group answers on the four manifestation determination questions.

The first question that participants examined was whether or not Sebastian did indeed have a disability at the time of the incident. All individuals and all groups answered yes. In the second question, participants considered whether the IEP and placement were appropriate, in relation to the behavior. In all cases where an individual's response to the questions about the appropriateness of Sebastian's IEP was positive (yes), the group answer changed to the negative when there was any disagreement. Thus, regardless of what the individual opined, if at least one member of the group answered no, indicating that the IEP or the placement was inappropriate, the group's decision was negative, indicating the opposite. For example, five members in the Turquoise group (n=6) indicated a positive response to the appropriateness of Sebastian's placement whereas one member indicated that his IEP and placement were inappropriate. The existence of disagreement on this question resulted in a negative answer. Thus, the group concluded that Sebastian's IEP and placement were appropriate. In short, the minority decision swayed the majority and the group consensus was reflective of the minority opinion.

In the third manifestation determination question, participants considered whether the student's disability impaired his ability to understand the impact and consequences of his behavior. As with the responses to the first set of questions, the opinion of a few participants often swayed the decision of the greater number of participants. For example, in two groups (Yellow and Turquoise), all individuals answered no, Sebastian's disability did not affect his ability to understand the impact and consequences of his behavior. Therefore, the group also answered no. In the Green group, three individuals indicated that the disability did affect the student's ability to understand the impact and consequences of his behavior, while two individuals believed the disability did not impair understanding. This result, however, is suspect as one of the participants did not participate during group discussion due to being absent and therefore only turned in her individually written responses. When teams met, however, the group opinion was reflective of the minority, making this decision and even split (2 to 2 during group discussion). In cases where the individuals expressed indecision about their opinion to this question, the group response reflected the majority decision. For example, two individuals in the Blue group were unsure of their opinion on this question while the remaining four individuals indicated an answer of no. After discussing the question in a group, however, the group answer reflected the opinion that yes, there was cause to believe that Sebastian's disability impaired his ability to understand the consequences of his behavior.

Finally, in the fourth question, participants considered whether or not the disability impaired the student's ability to control his behavior. Unlike the previous pattern of minority opinion swaying majority decision, only two of the four groups (Yellow and Green) followed this pattern. Four individuals in the Yellow group indicated that the disability did impair the student's ability to control his behavior while two individuals indicated that it did not. The group went with the minority opinion. Similarly, three individuals in the Green group indicated that the disability impaired ability to control behavior and two individuals indicated that it did not, the group, again went with the minority opinion. There was an even split in the Turquoise group where three individuals answered yes, three indicated no. As a group, participants responded that the disability did impair the student's ability to control behavior. In the Blue group, three individuals answered yes, one individual was unsure, and the group also responded affirmatively to the question.

Each group member provided self and peer ratings related to preparation for the discussion and participation during group discussion. Individual ratings on the six satisfaction items of the Group Satisfaction and Participation Questionnaire (See Appendix A) showed that with few exceptions, participants were highly satisfied with the alternative solutions considered, the process for generating and evaluating ideas during group work, the final solution the group proposed to resolve the problem, and in being a part of the group. All individuals in all but one group indicated ratings of five (the maximum satisfaction rating) to all six questions. Two members of one group (Yellow) indicated ratings of no less than three on a five point scale for three items (alternative solutions, evaluation of ideas, and being part of the group), which resulted in group mean ratings of 4.60 (SD .45) in each of the three items. Results on the number of points (based on a 1-5 point maximum scale) individuals assigned to themselves and their peers for the work each carried out in preparation for group discussion and contribution during group discussion on the assignment were similarly high to satisfaction ratings. Table 2 provides score averages by group.

One member in the Green group was absent during the discussion and did not fill out the questionnaire nor did the members evaluate her on theirs. With minor exceptions, individuals rated themselves and their peers as being highly prepared for group discussion. In cases where individuals indicated less than the total amount of points (5) their decisions for doing so were unexplained.

Observation of the videotapes of groups in active decision-making revealed two main findings. First, one group member assumed the responsibility of recording the group answers. The style of facilitating discussion varied among group discussion facilitators. Some solicited a response from each individual member while others listened to anyone who volunteered a response. The second finding noted in one group was the lack of participation of one member. Observation of the group during discussion revealed that this individual was physically removed from the circle the group formed during discussion and made only two statements during group work related to her inability to contribute to discussion because she did not print out the answers to the questions. Notable in this event was that no one reduced their evaluations of the nonparticipating group member for her preparation for group work or contribution during group discussion.


The authors were interested in understanding the group process and measured the satisfaction with group membership and the contributions of each member of the team during a simulated disciplinary activity of a student with disabilities. Results from this study were consistent with Holen's concern about disparity in individual members' contribution toward the group's task. Observations of the videotapes indicated that the group's recorder unofficially became the group facilitator who acted as a gatekeeper of opinions. These results suggest that hierarchies form automatically without official hierarchical professional titles (e.g., principal vs. teacher, school psychologist vs. parent). Therefore, unlike Olaniran (1996) who excluded the hierarchy variable from his research, in the future, consideration should be given to the way hierarchies are formed among peers.

The most noticeable result was the high level of satisfaction among all participants regarding their own and their peers' preparation for discussion and participation during group work. The aggregated mean score of member satisfaction in the preparation for discussion during group work was 4.97 (SD .18) and participation during group discussion was 4.97 (SD .18) on a 5-point scale (5 indicating high satisfaction). Interpretation of these results using Olaniran's model of the satisfaction suggest that individual group participation should be similarly high during group work. The most noteworthy result in the study was the discrepancy between satisfaction ratings (most individuals were perfectly satisfied, and the lowest group mean was 4.60 on a scale of 1-5) of individual group member's participation during group work and video observation of one group during discussion. Upon observation of the videotape, it was noted that one group member was visibly outside of the group and made two utterances during the entire group discussion. Her comments were unrelated to the task at hand. The first was about not bringing her work, the second was a reaffirmation of not having brought the work and being unable to contribute. The point of interest was that even with her making remarks about being unprepared and not contributing during group discussion, others' evaluation did not reflect her lack of preparation for or participation during the discussion. One explanation, based on Olaniran's model of group satisfaction, is that while the team member made no contributions toward the task at hand, other team members did not reduce their evaluation of her contribution because she did not hinder the group from accomplishing the task.


This study, like others (Holen, 2000; Olaniran, 1996), concludes that the process of group decision-making is complex and no doubt influenced by many personal and contextual variables. While satisfaction is important, it should only be considered as one among many other factors that influence group participation. Further, satisfaction does not always correlate to participation level during group work. While this study's limited size and scope precludes over-generalization, the results do suggest that the nature of group decision-making is complex and warrants continued research. Specifically, future research should inquire about participants' abilities to effectively reflect on the group process and identify member contribution.



Each individual is to complete one questionnaire. Please rate your satisfaction with the following items by circling a number on the scale. One is low satisfaction and five is high satisfaction.
 Low High

1. I was satisfied with the solution that my 1 2 3 4 5
group proposed to solve the task.

2. I was satisfied with the number of 1 2 3 4 5
alternative solutions generated during

3. I was satisfied with the process by which my 1 2 3 4 5
group generated ideas.

4. I was satisfied with the process that my 1 2 3 4 5
group used to evaluate ideas.

5. I was satisfied with the other members' 1 2 3 4 5
evaluation of ideas.

6. I was satisfied being a participant in this 1 2 3 4 5

Describe your team's experience while working on Sebastian's case. What worked well? What problems/challenges did your group encounter? How were they resolved?

Indicate the first and last name of each member in your group. Give your estimation of all members' preparation for and contribution to meetings and discussion where 1 = low and 5= high. Use the bottom and back of this page for additional comments.
Team Member Name Estimation of Estimation Recommendation
 Preparation for Participation for Total
 Group Work During Group Work Points (1-10
 (Completed work (Participated points)
 for the effectively in the
 activity) group discussion)

Table 1

Individual versus Group Answers on Manifestation Determination

Group Does student Is IEP Did disability Did disability
 have a appropriate? impair ability impair ability
 disability? to understand to control
 consequences? behavior?

 Yes No Group Yes No Group Yes U No Group Yes U No

Y n=6 6 0 Yes 4 2 No 0 0 6 No 4 0 2
T n=6 6 0 Yes 5 1 No 0 0 6 No 3 0 3
G n=5 5 0 Yes 5 0 Yes 3 0 2 No 3 0 2
B n=6 6 0 Yes 5 1 No 0 2 4 Yes 3 2 1

Group Did disability
 impair ability
 to control


Y n=6 No
T n=6 Yes
G n=5 No
B n=6 Yes

Legend: Y = Yellow, T = Turquoise, G = Green, B = Blue, and U = Unsure

Table 2

Means and Standard Deviations Scores

Group Preparation Participation
 Mean (sd) Mean (sd)

Yellow (n=6) 4.97 (.167) 4.89 (.319)
Turquoise (n=6) 5.00 (.000) 5.00 (.000)
Green (n= * 4) 4.81 (.403) 5.00 (.000)
Blue (n=6) 5.00 (.000) 5.00 (.000)
Aggregated Average Score 4.95 (.18) 4.97 (.18)


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Author:Stuart, Shannon K.
Publication:Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia
Date:Mar 22, 2004
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