Multicultural influences on group learning: A qualitative higher education study

Arthur Sweeney*, Scott Weaven, Carmel Herington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Although the literature examining the usefulness of group projects is extensive, the link between cooperative learning, group performance and skills transfer in multicultural contexts remains unclear. Focus groups were conducted with a sample of 107 international and domestic postgraduate and undergraduate marketing students to investigate this link. Results confirm that group work facilitates the development of interpersonal skills, cross-cultural collaboration and higher-level learning. While there is the promise of transfer of learning to other situations, group learning effectiveness appears conditional on instructors preparing, coaching and debriefing students as to the expected benefits associated with participation in group projects throughout the semester. In addition, limited differences were observed between how international and domestic students responded to group activities, although this may (in part) be due to subtle differences in preconceived attitudes to group learning activities from the outset.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-132
Number of pages14
JournalAssessment and Evaluation in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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