“For many years group work and its assessment has been the subject of considerable research and discussion in educational literature” (e.g., Boud et al.,1999; Nightingale et al., 1996). Group work has been used in education as a teaching/learning strategy, However, the all-encompassing assessment of group work is a more recent phenomenon and poses some challenges not only in Queensland secondary schools but schools worldwide (Johnson, D., & Johnson, R. (2004). Furthermore this essay will discuss the various ways to assess group work, the benefits and disadvantages of group work assessment, guidelines for group assessment and how group work assessment is relevant within secondary education.
'Group work' encompasses a vast variety of assessable activities and instruments including a poster, oral presentation, a written report and many more. In addition, there are a number of methods available for assessing aspects of group work, including allocating a shared group mark or individual marks based on product alone, or on a combination of product, group process and individual effort. In addition, assessment may involve peer and/or self-assessment as well as assessment by teaching staff.
The educational benefits of students working cooperatively in groups are well recognised (Johnson, D., & Johnson, R., 2004). Adaptable to really any subject or situation, group work under proper conditions encourages peer learning and peer support (Killen. R, 2009). Among other things, group assessment activities may also help academic staff to effectively utilise their own time (Killen. R, 2009).
However along with the benefits, group work assessment can also hinder student...
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... the effective support of such individuals. Conference Paper. EARLI/Northumbria
Assessment Conference, Potsdam, 27-29 August 2008.
Mills, P. (2003). Group project work with undergraduate
veterinary science students. Assessment and Evaluation in
Higher Education, 28: 527-538.
Nightingale, P. et al. (1996) Assessing Learning in Universities.
Professional Development Centre: University of NSW. Oxford Brookes University (n.d.) Multiculturalism, student g r o u p w o r k a n d a s s e s s m e n t . http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsd/pubs/asssl7.html Retrieved 1st April 2011
Parsons, D. (2002). Justice in the classroom: peer assessment of contributions in group projects. Department of IT andelectrotechnology, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Tyson, T. (1998). Working in groups. Second Edition, Macmillan Education, Sydney, Australia.
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