|Title||Enhancing the student experience of assessed group work: Developing a research-informed framework|
|Publication Type||Conference Paper|
|Authors||Maguire M, Bree RT, Mullen P, Cooney C, Morris P|
|Conference Name||SEDA spring teaching learning and assessment conference 2018|
|Publisher||Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA)|
|Conference Location||Leeds, UK.|
This discussion paper explores the student experience of assessed group work within the context of the development, initial implementation and evaluation of an institution-wide approach to improve this experience. The initiative was a response to feedback from our students and Student Services indicating that, for some, this experience was negative. Particular concerns included the practical challenges of managing multiple group projects, as well as perceptions of (un)fairness in monitoring and assessing individual contributions. In response, the Learning and Teaching Subcommittee of the Academic Council undertook a review of assessed group work within the Institute, including significant consultation with staff and students. Several issues were identified, including coherence across and within programmes, developing group work skills for students, the visibility of group work and number of simultaneous group projects. It was clear from these outcomes that a programme-level approach was needed. Drawing on the literature (e.g. Lee et al. 2015,; MacFarlane 2016; Noonan 2013; Rogers & Smith 2014), and examples of good practice, a framework was developed to support programme teams in planning and implementing group work (https://www.dkit.ie/system/files/groupwork_framework_guidelines_2016.pdf). The framework emphasises the need to consider the rationale for and role of, assessed group work within the programme, and to use this to inform the nature of the group work, where it sits in the curriculum, how it is introduced and how skills are developed over time. The implementation of the framework and initial evaluation findings will be discussed. While there are challenges, the extensive consultation process and narrow strategic focus have been important enablers. Impact will be discussed in relation to the student experience.