Learning With Jigsaw: A Systematic Review Gathering All the Pieces of the Puzzle More Than 40 Years Later


  • Vives Eva
  • Poletti Céline
  • Robert Anaïs
  • Butera Fabrizio
  • Huguet Pascal
  • Régner Isabelle


  • Jigsaw classroom
  • Cooperative learning
  • Social interdependence
  • Academic achievement
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Collaboration

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The jigsaw classroom is a cooperative learning method designed in the late 1970s to improve the academic performance of minority children by reducing intergroup conflict and increasing self-evaluations. Despite its high popularity, the available evidence for the effectiveness of this method seems scant and mixed, with neither meta-analysis nor systematic review. To fill this gap, the authors conducted a systematic review of studies conducted from 1978 through 2022 to assess the effects of jigsaw on both academic performance and psychosocial variables (e.g., intergroup relationships, self-evaluations). Sixty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. This review revealed the research trends, research gaps, and issues of research integrity of the jigsaw literature. If the results indicate that the jigsaw classroom overall leads to positive effects, findings vary depending on the academic subjects and psychosocial variables measured. The authors discuss the challenges of jigsaw activities and the limitations of studies reviewed and conclude with practical recommendations in the context of digital education.

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