Research Impact: Although sport education literature shows a preference for heterogeneity in ability-based grouping, within our data both heterogeneous and homogenous groups of higher and lower skilled students achieved improvements in game performance and knowledge, leading us to suggest that teachers who are interested in grouping students to create a meaningful learning experience should consider criteria other than student ability. It is necessary for grouping strategies to go beyond mixing people up, keeping friends together, or even ensuring groups have at least one expert. This is not to suggest that one grouping strategy might be superior to others in terms of facilitating learning. Rather, teachers should be mindful of the relationships that group composition might have on teaching and learning and use different strategies according to the uniqueness of their local context with the hope to optimize group dynamics, hence learning and engagement.
Mahedero, M. P., Calderón, A., Hastie, P., & Arias-Estero, J. L. (2021). Grouping Students by Skill Level in Mini-Volleyball: Effect on Game Performance and Knowledge in Sport Education. Perceptual and Motor Skills, https://doi.org/10.1177/00315125211021812