Imagine two groups of students in your physics class or lab. In Group A, the students each take on a different task but invest an equal amount of time, energy, and effort in what they do. For example, one student might be the note-taker, while another operates the calculator, computer, or experimental apparatus, and a third keeps everyone on track and makes sure the group is completing assignments correctly. In Group B, on the other hand, the students divide up the work equitably, making sure that each group member participates in every aspect of the various types of work that need to be done. In this case, each student takes a turn operating the apparatus, records their own data, and does some of the analysis. Survey results that we analyzed show that students prefer to work in Group A, but that their physics interest and self-efficacy are boosted most by Group B-style work.

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