In the way of continuous improvement in teaching methods this paper explores the effects of Cooperative Learning (CL) against Traditional Learning (TL) in academic performance of students in higher education in two groups of the first course of Computer Science Degree at the university.
Material and methods:
The empirical study was conducted through an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) in order to assess whether teaching methods have a significant effect on academic performance.
The results show that teaching methods did not have a significant effect on the academic performance of the students. However, informal interviews with students revealed that they preferred CL. The study also explores whether there was a relationship between the average scores for conceptual and problem-type questions between both groups through a t-test analysis and for both courses there was no significant difference in the exam results between the two groups.
Students who were exposed to TL methods outperformed the students who were taught via CL in mid-term exam. However, the result is opposite in the final exam where students from CL obtained better scores. Finally, with CL techniques students got better global results because they acquired a depper understanding of the materia.