Assessing group work

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Assessing group work is an issue many academics face, and it is something that can cause contention among students themselves.

The University of Melbourne have put together some very useful resources around the decision making process behind choosing assessing group work, what might be assessed, what criteria might be used, and some ways of allocating marks that include student input.

They suggest decisions about how to structure the assessment of group work need to be focussed around four factors:

  1. whether what is to be assessed is the product of the group work, the process of the group work, or both (and if the latter, what proportion of each)
  2. what criteria will be used to assess the aspect(s) of group work of interest (and who will determine this criteria – lecturer, students or both)
  3. who will apply the assessment criteria and determine marks (lecturer, students – peer and/or self assessment or a combination)
  4. how will marks be distributed (shared group mark, group average, individually, combination)

They go on to suggest some or all of the following might be assessed:

  • regular meeting attendance
  • equity of contribution
  • evidence of cooperative behaviour
  • appropriate time and task management
  • application of creative problem solving
  • use of a range of working methods
  • appropriate level of engagement with task
  • development of professional competencies
  • evidence of capacity to listen
  • responsiveness to feedback/criticism.

They also suggest some assessment options for the products and processes of group work where staff and/or students are responsible for allocating marks. Four tables are provided:

  • Options for lecturer/tutor assessment of group work product
  • Options for student assessment of group work product
  • Options for lecturer/tutor assessment of group work process
  • Options for student assessment of group work process

To access the resources click here.

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