Undergraduate Group Projects: Student Experiences of Collaboration and Self-Assessment

By Angela M. Crack.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper evaluates the utility and value of self-assessment as a means to moderate a collective grade for group project work in higher education. It is based on related research by Garvin et al (1995) and Bourner et al (2001), which each reported student’s experiences of group project work from a questionnaire survey. The former case study can be distinguished from the latter in that it involved elements of self-assessment and received more positive feedback about student motivation and group dynamics. This paper offers a richer analysis of the significance of this variable through focus group research. Two groups of similar students were assessed on the basis of a class presentation, to which a collective grade was awarded. The individual grades for students from only one group were adjusted according to the results of a self-assessment exercise. The feedback from both groups reveals insights into the benefits and drawbacks of such moderation methods. This paper reflects on the positive and negative experiences of students about group project work, and considers the import of the research for university tutors.

Keywords: Group Project Work, Self-Assessment, Moderation, Collective Grades, Higher Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 7, pp.163-170. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 542.380KB).

Dr. Angela M. Crack

Lecturer, Politics, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK

Dr. Angela M. Crack is a Politics lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. She teaches International, European and Comparative Politics from Foundation to Masters level. Her research interests include globalisation, global governance, deliberative democracy and new media. A monograph, Global Communication and Transnational Public Spheres, is due to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2008.


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