Generic skills development and satisfaction with groupwork among business students: Effect of country of permanent residency

Emerald Group Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Education & Training, 2012, 54 (6), pp. 472 - 487
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The purpose of this study is to examine variables explaining students' positive and negative experiences of groupwork and connect country of residence with the perception of generic skills development and self-reported satisfaction with groupwork. It also aims to examine the effect of prior training in groups from the perspective of Australian and Non-Australian permanent residency Business students. Respondents were 389 undergraduate and postgraduate Business students at an Australian metropolitan university. A path model was developed and analysed using partial least squares modeling. Students' country of residence had a significant influence on reporting of generic skill development and experience of groupwork. Self-reported improvement in generic skills after groupwork assessment was associated with reporting of fewer negative and more positive aspects of working in groups. The findings were limited by using data collected from students enrolled in one undergraduate and one postgraduate subject at the conclusion of a group assignment from one university. Future research should test the model by extending it to other universities and non-Business units. Future research should rely on a longitudinal design, where the survey is carried out at the beginning and the end of the group assessment. It is important to ensure both domestic and international students acquire generic skills through groupwork and that prior training in groupwork takes place before group assessments. The study provides empirical evidence supporting the incorporation of generic skill teaching into academic practice prior to assigning groupwork to students.
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