Model Fidelity and Students’ Responses to an Authenticated Unit of Cooperative Learning

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Ashley Casey Loughborough University and University of Limerick

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Victoria A. Goodyear University of Birmingham

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Ben P. Dyson University of Auckland

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A wealth of school-based interventions report on students’ positive responses to the use of models-based practice in physical education. However, research that examines the effectiveness of models-based practice rarely reports on the fidelity of implementation i.e., when all of the characteristics of a model are implemented. The purpose of this study was to explore model fidelity in the use of the Cooperative Learning model. Action research and systematic observation (using the Cooperative Learning Validation Tool which acknowledged the observation of key characteristics of the model) were used to confirm model fidelity. Consequently, the themes which emerged from the data analysis of could be directly linked to the authentic use of Cooperative Learning context. The paper concludes by arguing that when reporting on findings from empirical research on the use of Cooperative Learning we need to adopt a more robust approach in determining—through rigor and quality of research—the authenticity of implementation.

Casey is with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. Goodyear is in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. Dyson is with the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Address author correspondence to Ashley Casey at A.J.B.Casey@lboro.ac.uk.
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