|The Jigsaw Strategy is an efficient way to learn the course material in a cooperative learning style.
The jigsaw classroom is a research-based cooperative learning technique invented and developed in the early 1970s by Elliot Aronson and his students at the University of Texas and the University of California. The Jigsaw Strategy is an efficient way to learn the course material in a cooperative learning style. The method makes students dependent on each other to succeed. It divides classes into mixed groups and breaks assignments into pieces that the group assembles to complete the (jigsaw) puzzle, the final outcome. Working individually, each student learns about his or her topic and presents it to their group. Next, students change groups, divided by topic. Each member explains to the topic group. In same-topic groups, students synthesize points of view and information. They create a final report. Finally, the original groups reconvene and listen to presentations from each member. The final presentations provide all group members with an understanding of their own material, as well as the findings that have emerged from topic-specific group discussion .
Students acquire information independently from the teaching staff member and supported by peer students.
|Aim||To enable students to acquire information independently from the staff member and supported by peer students.|
|This method can be applied to different subject areas in different disciplines. It is especially useful when a new topic is introduced that contains different perspectives or subtopics or sub-areas|
|Intended learning outcome|
|The jigsaw classroom is very simple to use. If you’re leading this task, just follow these steps:
As the facilitator, you should circulate from group to group, observing the process. If any group is having trouble (e.g., a member is dominating or disruptive), make an appropriate intervention. Eventually, it’s best for the group leader to handle this task. Leaders can be trained by whispering an instruction on how to intervene, until the leader gets the hang of it.
Finally, organise a way for students to present what they have learned and understood in their jigsaw-group: a video, a visual presentation, … that could be shared on e.g. an online learning platform.
Step 1-5 could also be done as a preparation by students before coming to class.
|Preparation||As teaching staff member, you need to carefully consider before the lesson the chunks of information that you will put forward on a theme.|
|Required resources and equipment||Sources of information ready to access for students. Instruments for presentation.|
|Success factors||The information has to be at the level of the students. They have to elaborate it autonomously.
Students must have the skills to distinguish main from subsidiary issues.
It is important that there is enough time for every step to be taken
|Advantages||Different students have different kinds (dimensions, perspectives, aspects) of information about a topic, which urges them to explain what they have read and understood about the topic. Together they create their understanding.|
|Disadvantages||It takes a lot of time.|
|Additional information||For more information about the steps involved in the Jigsaw method on which this description is based, take a look at this site.
Jennifer Conzalez explains how Jigsaw works in this video clip.
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