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Journal of Information Systems Education

Abstract

This article reviews the rationale for groupwork projects, particularly as they apply to business-related courses. It describes some of the pedagogical issues that faculty must address and highlights inherent weaknesses, particularly in the assessment of student effort, that often occur when groupwork is required in a course. The problem of evaluating individual student’s contributions to their group is particularly troublesome given that all students do not always contribute equally to a group’s success. Faculty members normally have little to no data or observations to assist them in valuing one student’s contribution over another student’s contribution to the group’s ultimate success. The evaluation problem can be solved by gathering and using student input regarding the contributions of their peers. This, too, can be problematic if not done in a manner that requires each student to distinguish amongst the different levels of contribution provided by each of their fellow group members. A conceptual solution for solving the ‘group member contribution’ problem and a detailed methodology for implementing the solution is offered for this problem. The solution uses peer evaluations solicited from all group members as a component of each individual student’s groupwork grade. Using a web-based form, student peer assessments are gathered anonymously and are easily integrated into the faculty member’s electronic gradebook.

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