Assessing group work: the benefits and drawbacks for mixed groups

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Assessing group work: the benefits and drawbacks for mixed groups. Rachel Wicaksono. York St John University. Group work assessment symposium:
collaborating or fighting for the marks? Students’ experience of group work assessment. November 10, 2008

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Assessing group work: the benefits and drawbacks for mixed groups

  1. 1. York St John University | www.yorksj.ac.uk Group work assessment symposium: Collaborating or fighting for the marks? Students’ experience of group work assessment Rachel Wicaksono Senior Lecturer, English Language and Linguistics Faculty of Business and Communication Monday November 10, 2008
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  3. 3. York St John University | www.yorksj.ac.uk Assessing group work: the benefits and drawbacks for mixed groups
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  5. 5. Background and aims of the research York St John University | www.yorksj.ac.uk “ As companies adopt a more global outlook, greater collaboration is a vital corporate need…” “… a diverse workforce makes both moral and, increasingly, economic sense.” But did my students want to work in groups? 1. What do you think about group work? 2. What effect does group work have on students’ marks?
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  7. 7. Q1 What are the benefits and problems for students of assessed group work? York St John University | www.yorksj.ac.uk background 64% of students (both UK and international) said that they enjoyed group work. Positive outcomes : ‘Sparking ideas and discussion – help each other to make sense and bring out ideas through questioning’. Negative outcomes : ‘People have different standards of work, one member may be A grade another D so may bring marks down for some’.
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  9. 9. Q1 What are the benefits and problems for students of assessed group work? background Communication : ‘I found communication with international students difficult’. Ability : ‘Group work has been the most enjoyable when all group members have had similar abilities and level of understanding’. Nationality : ‘No commitment of local students as they only talk about their night out and hangovers when the group meets’. Social goals : ‘[effective groups] have a good laugh with group members because they get on well’. Task-oriented goals : ‘I enjoyed working in a group when all the members were committed to the task set and did a fair percentage of the work’.
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  11. 11. Q2 Do you prefer to be in groups with people who are the same as you or different from you? Why? Which similarities/differences matter? background Research into the benefits and drawbacks of mixed groups has shown… …… very mixed results. Why? Perhaps because ‘mixedness’ is not a fixed quality. What we notice about other people, and the importance of the things we notice, depends on our context (where we are, what we’re doing, what other people are telling us etc.).
  12. 12. Drawback 1 Social identity and self-categorisation theory, similarity-attraction theory Benefit 1 Peer effects and information-processing theory INSTITUTIONAL CONTEXT TASK DESIGN Drawback 2 Free-rider theory Drawback 3 Expectancy bias Benefit 3 Expectancy bias Benefit 2 Free-rider theory
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  14. 14. Q3 To get the best mark, is it better to be in a group with students of similar or different ‘ability’ as you? Why? background BUT……. -7 Highest +4 Average +13 Lowest Group mark = X +/- ? Individual achievement (X)
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  16. 16. What do you think so far? York St John University | www.yorksj.ac.uk background Peer effects? ‘One-way pooling’ Free riding? Expectancy bias (markers and students)? Assessed task design?
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  18. 18. York St John University | www.yorksj.ac.uk background background Conclusions?
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  20. 20. York St John University | www.yorksj.ac.uk background Email me for a copy of ‘Assessed mixed nationality group work at a UK university: does it get results?’ [email_address] Free copies of Enhancing the International Learning Experience are available from [email_address] and [email_address] Contact

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