Get access

Group Heterogeneity and Homogeneity in Personal Content Goals for a Group Learning Activity: Impact on Individual Appraisals


  • This research was supported by the Australian Research Council (Grant DP0666993).

Marold Wosnitza, RWTH Aachen University, Institute for Education, Eilfschornsteinstr. 7, 52062 Aachen, Germany. Email:


This article examines the extent to which group heterogeneity and homogeneity in personal goals for a collaborative learning activity influences individuals' appraisals of that activity. This research addresses the lack of empirical work on the significance of personal content goals in collaborative learning contexts. A framework that takes into account the social dimension of such settings formed the conceptual basis of an empirical study carried out with 313 university students. The results show that while group homogeneity in high- and low-level goals led to expected appraisals and reflections, group heterogeneity led to appraisals that were as positive as those found in groups dominated by members with high-level goals. Implications for educational practice are discussed.