Scenario-Jigsaw approach

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In a jigsaw puzzle, each part of the picture has to be put in place to depict the whole figure. Accordingly, the Jigsaw Scenario is a type of group learning arrangement, where each student needs to cooperate with his or her peers to achieve learning goals. Each student's contribution is necessary for the preparation of the final outcome.The Jigsaw Scenario is considered as an essential cooperative strategy for science education. One major characteristic of this perspective is that students have an opportunity to learn from each other by communicating with peers and exchanging information. Students are grouped twice, first in home groups and then in expert groups. The latter will delve deeper into a part of the whole study. When each expert will return to his or her home group, he/she will share the expertise gained with other home group members. Each student's contribution is like a part of the picture that has to be there to shape the whole figure.In the Jigsaw Scenario, positive outcomes of collaborative learning are catalyzed by fostaring student interaction in expert and home groups. However, this requires that students have the necessary communication skills, such as interpersonal and argumentation skills.In Go-Lab, the Jigsaw Scenario could be implemented in two alternative learning activity sequences, the Hypothesis Pathway and the Driving Question Pathway. In both cases students first form home groups and then switch to different expert groups to investigate each one dimension of the phenomenon under study. At the end of their expert work, experts return to home groups to communicate their results with peers and draw a final conclusion. The Hypothesis Pathway is to be followed when students have a clear overview of the variables engaged in the phenomenon under study and, therefore, when they could formulate and test hypotheses. When students do not have such a clear overview, they would better choose the Driving Question Pathway and proceed to exploration of the phenomenon.


Further reading

  • Aronson, E. (2002). Building empathy, comparison and achievement in the jigsaw classroom. In J. Aronson (Ed.), Improving academic achievement (pp. 209-225). New York: Academic Press.
  • Doymus, K., Karacop, A., & Simsek, U. (2010). Effects of jigsaw and animation techniques on students' understanding of concepts and subjects in electrochemistry. Education Technology Research and Development. doi: 10.1007/s11423-010-9157-2.
  • Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2004). Cooperation and the use of technology. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communication and technology (pp. 785-811). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
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