Assessing Group Projects in Design Education

Blackwell Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal article
Thompson Darrall 2002, 'Assessing Group Projects in Design Education', Ashgate Press, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 41-56.
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The ability to work in teams is increasingly demanded by the 'digital melting pot' of current design practice. In design education group projects with group-based assessment are strategies often adopted to reap the benefits of economy of scale. However there is a fundamental problem with groupbased assessment. Those who work hard are demotivated through lack of acknowledgement and 'free riders' receive the same grade. The design of an effective learning environment for group work clearly needs to employ methodologies which encourage students to adopt a deep approach to the learning activities. This article illustrates some vital educational concepts which clarify the dynamics of the learning environment and offer a framework for the design of group-based assessment. The author was part of a multidisciplinary team which designed an online Self and Peer Assessment Resource Kit (SPARK). The system solves the problems and yields the generic skill benefits arising from well-designed group projects.
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