A Group Formation Strategy for Long-Term Student Projects Using Constraint Logic Programming

AUTHOR/S: Grace S. Tacadao, Fr. Ramon Prudencio S. Toledo, S.J

DATE COMPLETED: October 1, 2016

KEYWORDS: Constraint logic programming, Logic programming, Group formation problem, Collaborative activities


             For Collaborative learning to be successful, the instructor must carefully plan the formation of student groups. However, there is no consensus both in the literature and in practice as to which student parameters should be considered. For student projects in the Ateneo de Davao University, the strategy and parameters that teachers use vary. Thus, the objective of this preliminary study is to come up with an appropriate strategy for long-term projects based not only from the perspective of the teachers but also from that of the students. This study also aimed to develop a tool based on the strategy using Constraint Logic Programming.

             The parameters and conditions for the formation strategy were obtained through a faculty survey and student interviews. Based on the results, the faculty prefers that student groups have heterogeneous individual proficiency, heterogeneous learning and thinking styles, heterogeneous team roles and homogeneous personality traits. They do not regard teammate preferences as more important than these parameters. However, contrary to the faculty’s view, students prefer that their teammate preferences should be given the utmost consideration. 

              Thus, the constraint logic program developed is not only based on an instructor strategy which forms student groups using a number of parameters that are constrained to be mixed either homogeneously or heterogeneously. Cohorts produced are not only evaluated based on the constraints satisfied but also on the number of teammate preferences satisfied. As such, the study  demonstrates not only the feasibility of applying Constraint Logic Programming in the field of computer-supported group formation but also demonstrates that an instructor strategy can both include parameter constraints from the instructor and teammate preferences from the students.

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