Collaborating or fighting for the marks? Students’ experiences of group work assessment in the creative arts

ORR, Susan (2010). Collaborating or fighting for the marks? Students’ experiences of group work assessment in the creative arts. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 35 (3), 301-313.

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The study explores students’ and lecturers’ experiences of group work assessment in a performing arts department that includes undergraduate studies in theatre, dance and film. Working from the perspective that assessment is a socially situated practice informed by, and mediated through, the socio-political context within which it occurs, this research takes the form of an inquiry that employs qualitative approaches to data collection using interviews and focus groups. The aim of the study was to elicit students’ and lecturers’ views concerning the assessment of process (also known as contribution), conceptions of fairness and the management of free-loading students. The tensions that reside in group work projects where students are marked for process as well as product are explored. The analysis shows that students navigate complex trajectories where they collaborate and fight for their marks. Reflective journals are often used as a tool to assess process in group work projects. This analysis challenges the popular view that reflective journals offer an unproblematic representation of process. Whilst this study is situated within the performing arts, the findings are relevant to any group work project where lecturers seek to design assessment approaches that disentangle group and individual contribution.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Art and Design Research Centre
Identification Number:
Page Range: 301-313
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2012 16:15
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 10:15

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