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Peer Review

The Jigsaw Method A Cooperative Learning Strategy



Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 08, 2012 by Teacher Education
Overview: The Jigsaw Method A Cooperative Learning Strategy is a series of videos and learning resources such as handouts which demonstrates how teachers can use group learning in their classrooms. The website upon which it is posted is called Essential Materials for Teaching and Learning, Recommended for Educators by Educators. It has other video cases listed by subject and additional media resources such as articles and audio materials. It can be an invaluable resource for online instructors.
Learning Goals: Learning Goals: Teachers will find this to be a good example of using students to teach other students. The ideas can be generalized to other teaching levels.
Target Student Population: The stated target group on the site is middle and elementary grades and the video is about a fifth grade teacher. However, teachers at all grades levels including graduate school instructors can use the video to gain insight how to use cooperative learning techniques to use in their classrooms. Preservice students in the College of Education can use the video to more about cooperative learning. The video and handouts can be used an example of the technique upon which they can practice writing their own lessons.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: There are no pre-requisites. There is a list of terms with an explanation included.
Type of Material: Video Cases with transcripts, bonus videos, classroom artifacts, viewing questions, key terms, related resources.
Recommended Uses: The jigsaw exercise can be incorporated into many classrooms. Although the students in this exercise were in elementary school the concepts can be generalized to other levels. It is also a good resource for teacher education courses.
Technical Requirements: The site recommends Adobe Flash player but it appears to be able to be viewed without it. Videos are 3-5 minutes long.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The Jigsaw model has been validated by studies included in this site. Often teachers forget that having students teach others can result in increased student learning for the students doing the peer teaching. This approach can be generalized to many teaching situations. The content presented is clear and will be easy for the teacher to master. A clear and concise demonstration of the concept is given in a 5 minute video overview. Additional bonus videos are provided for a more in depth look at the different lesson components such as how learning is assessed.
Concerns: Teachers must realize that as the video and resource make clear, there is a lot of planning and monitoring to make this a learning experience for the students.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The material can be integrated into the pedagogy of virtually any discipline. Lesson planning, implementing the lesson, and assessment are demonstrated by the videos. A sound approach is given to forming groups.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The navigation tabs are bright blue and easy to located. The text is block highlighted on the site to make it distinctive.The handouts were black and white which is not visually appealing but they are ideal for printing. There is a report a problem link for the overall website but not for the individual video.
Concerns: The videos can not be fast forwarded and there is no rewind function. The time length is not given on all of the videos. The worksheets can not be viewed in the Expert Group Teaching video. In the group teaching Topic Assessment video, it was difficult to hear the answers given by the group to questions. There was ambient noise in the background. The wording on the handouts were blurry. A more internet friendly font was needed.

Other Issues and Comments: This demonstration emphasized that in the "jigsaw" method students not only prepare work to share with their classmates but also design an evaluation scheme. This important part is often neglected in "jigsaw" exercises, and it is an important part of learning.