Teamwork: The Process and the Product - What Students Think

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Woodley, Carolyn and Armatas, Christine (2010) Teamwork: The Process and the Product - What Students Think. International Journal of Learning, 17 (4). pp. 527-538. ISSN 1447-9494


In this paper we explore a number of issues concerning assessed teamwork. We consider an upsurge in the requirement for team-based assessment at university and use a first year unit, Professional Development 1: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (PD1), at Victoria University (VU) in Melbourne, Australia, as a case study to examine issues of team formation, team communication and the fairness of team assessment. The paper provides a VU policy context for this discussion. VU’s policy context, like many other Australian universities, requires that all university subjects will develop students’ graduate capabilities, such as the ability to work collaboratively and in a socially and culturally responsible manner. Together with this requirement to assess students’ ability to work in teams and to develop intercultural skills, is a further policy requirement of VU’s Student Assessment and Progress Policy that calls for student assessment to be fair. As teamwork is often considered to be inherently unfair, we explore how these policy requirements might be achieved. Given the diversity of VU's student cohort and the diversity of the PD1 classroom, a particular focus is the intercultural requirements of teamwork. We draw on student evaluations, student reflections and focus group responses to explore the benefits and difficulties of team-based assessment for teams of considerable diversity. Finally, we evaluate, from a student perspective, some of the strategies employed to support students in what can be a trying and negative experience.

Item type Article
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Faculty of Business and Law
Historical > FOR Classification > 0807 Library and Information Studies
Historical > SEO Classification > 9301 Learner and Learning
Keywords ResPubID21141, teamwork, assessment, graduate attributes, diversity
Citations in Scopus 4 - View on Scopus
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