Diverse assessment methods in groupwork settings

Langrish, T. and See, H. (2008). Diverse assessment methods in groupwork settings. Education for Chemical Engineers, 3(1), e40-e46.

Langrish and See (2008) are co-coordinators who developed a variety of problem-based assessment tasks with the intention of engaging students more deeply in their learning, and aligning assessment tasks with the unit curriculum. The unit concerned was a second-year Chemical Engineering unit requiring students to develop an understanding of complex principles and systems as well as engage in practice for work in a professional team environment. Group work was identified as the best way of assisting students to grasp the key components in a network, as well as how each of the components related to the whole system. Assessments were structured to keep students accountable to their group (peer assessment) and to test individual student understandings (post-project interview and exam). Different grading techniques were brought together in a coherent framework and both stronger and weaker students were supported with extending their understandings. Teaching staff sometimes found the problem-based approach complex and challenging and worked collaboratively, employing team teaching approaches to best support each other.

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