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Assessing group work

Working in groups has become an accepted part of learning at UTS as a consequence of the widely recognised benefits of collaborative group work for student learning. When groups work well, students learn more and produce higher quality learning outcomes.

Reviews of student feedback demonstrate that many students benefit from learning in groups as long as the groups are well managed and there are clear and fair assessment requirements. In a group assignment the students want a system that gives them every opportunity to receive a high grade that also reflects the level of contribution made by individual students.

Addressing these three aspects of assessing group assignments can reduce the students' concerns:

  1.  helping students understand the criteria for the group product and processes,
  2.  informing them how you intend to measure individual contributions to the group,
  3.  informing them how you allocate the grades between individuals in the group.

This section is intended, as a resource for UTS staff to become familiar with the issues behind helping students understand the criteria for group processes. It draws on a number of recent studies on assessment and on interviews with staff and students on the assessment practices in different sections of UTS. It contains information and examples of activities to encourage students to understand the goals of group work. The following section deals with the related topic of recognising individual contribution and allocating group marks in-group assignments. Strategies to assist students in understanding criteria are also suggested.

The learning and teaching section of this site also has resources to help you enhance the design groupwork activities.