Groupwork assessment

  • In the last fifteen years, for a variety of good reasons, there has undoubtedly been a significant increase in the amount of groupwork (or ‘group-based’ learning) undertaken by students.

    There are arguments about that can be achieved collectively through co-operation rather than individual competition; certainly there are benefits to students’ learning through social interaction and there has been a strong employability argument about the need to develop the portfolio of skills necessary to successfully work as a member of a team; there have also been pragmatic, logistical reasons, as student numbers have risen disproportionately with staffing. And with this rise in groupwork there has inevitably been a linked rise in the amount of assessment of groupwork, and this has not been problem-free. In fact the assessment of groupwork is arguably one of the biggest sources of student dissatisfaction, largely because it is often perceived as unfair.

    On ASKe’s behalf, Professor Graham Gibbs has, therefore, undertaken a review of the available literature to identify what choices should be considered in planning the assessment of group work, and what are the likely consequences of the various possible approaches if chosen.

    Download Professor Gibbs' paper: The assessment of group work: lessons from the literature

    Applying the literature review to practice