Assessments that encourage collaboration and not collusion - The importance of teamwork

Subject benchmarks often define a wide range of key transferable skills, including collaboration and communication, that graduates are expected to have mastered upon completing their course. Teamwork is a powerful tool for assessing these competencies (and others) in large numbers of students provided it is set up correctly and a positive learning environment is created. That environment needs to foster collaboration to ensure that the end product is a true reflection of the contribution of each individual student.

In this talk, the continual refinements to a group work task over a 7-year period will be discussed, highlighting the absolute necessity to generate individualised marks to ensure that students feel they have a degree of control over the performance of the group. The result is an assessment that is authentic, robust, and most importantly a fair measure of student engagement with a task that promotes collaborative learning.