Assessing group work can involve assessing group process, assessing the group product or a combination of both. This can be assessed at an individual and/or group level.

Assessing process is seen as important by many lecturers. However, without an extensive knowledge of the group’s interactions, process can be difficult to assess accurately. Self or peer assessment may be useful, but can be biased. Portfolio assessment can be a successful method of assessing the work of individuals within a group.

The criteria by which each group is assessed may be decided by the lecturer, students or both. Assessment criteria should be linked to the intended outcomes of the work. Assessment criteria may include:

  • Meeting attendance
  • Equity of contribution
  • Behaviour within group
  • Development of competencies
  • Peer feedback/criticism
How marks will be assigned must be determined prior to the commencement of group work. A shared group mark encourages group participation but does not necessarily reflect individual contributions. A group average mark may provide more motivation to students to work both individually and within the group. This does not necessarily take into account the individual’s contributions.

Assessing each individual within a group may be a fairer method of assessment. Individuals may be assessed for an allocated task within the overall group task, or on individual reports. Peer evaluation can be an integral part of allocating marks, however may be subject to bias.