Group work and group work assessment in higher education has been discussed, researched and written about widely. One of the driving forces behind the design and assessment of group work has been the need to expose, familiarise and equip students with the skills that they must possess to combat real world situations. Despite the call from employers for graduates who are able to communicate effectively with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds and who must be prepared to work within or direct a team, assessing individual contribution to group activities appears to be the most inhibiting factor that repressed some academics from implementing the idea. Moreover, some critics who conduct group work and carry out group assessment are simply doing that because they are required to do so. This paper supports the established conviction that the ability to work as part of a team is one of the prerequisites for securing employment in the computing industry. The authors, both industry and teaching practitioners, use systems analysis and design as a case study to support their claim that computer professionals must be trained to be able to speak the languages of businessmen, politicians, technicians, computer users, managers, and so on. The study reported in this paper found that while students preferred to put themselves into groups (self select), teachers should be involved and give students guidance about the capability of each individual student and the various skills that are needed to complete group activities. The study also found that when it came to assessing group work, teachers were not considered by students as the experts in assessing group work because they did not know much about the contribution made by individual members of the group. The paper therefore recommends that self evaluation, peer assessment and individual assessment techniques should be used when assessing group work. This paper is a contribution towards increasing the awareness of the importance to include group work as an integral part of preparing computer professionals for survival in the wider business environment.
Blackshaw, Rebecca and Latu, Savae, "Group Work and Group Work Assessment for Computer Courses: A Systems Analysis and Design Case Study" (2005). ACIS 2005 Proceedings. Paper 43.