In courses leading to professional qualifications, authentic tasks are the basis of learning through assessment. Problem solving and project work in professional life is almost always a collaborative process. Hence, authentic assessment tasks require students to collaborate in groups.
If the experience is carefully devised and managed, group assignments present a rich environment for learning. Collaborative group work effectively fosters both discipline-specific and generic professional attributes. All too often, however, group assignments are a frustrating, even unproductive experience for students, leading to a grade that appears to be unrelated to the work they put in, and which makes no allowance for problems encountered by the group.
This two year project, funded by The Carrick Foundation is a collaboration between the University of Canberra, University of NSW, College of Fine Arts (Sydney) and Macquarie University. The project investigates best practice in group assessment across a range of disciplines with the aim of developing a set of resources a Web-based toolbox for teachers and students undertaking collaborative projects.
Dr Ian Hart, Project Manager of the Assessing Group Work project, will be visiting Hong Kong in the first three weeks of October 2006. Ian was Associate Professor and Head, Interactive Media Group at the University of Hong Kong between 1991 and 2003. He is currently a consultant in media and learning, based in Canberra. His presentation and seminar covers the following topics:
* Advantages and pitfalls of collaborative assessment
* Aligning learning outcomes, assessment criteria and the assessment process
* Forming groups that facilitate peer learning
* Facilitating developmental (formative) as well as summative assessment;
* Encouraging student input to the design of assessment
* Providing internal annotation of production products; and
* Commonalities across a diversity of teaching contexts including online learning.