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Durham University

Welcome to Durham University's Common Awards website

Assessing Group Working

University Policy on the Summative Assessment of Group Working

(Learning and Teaching Handbook, 6.1.2)

Consult this policy for information on:

  • The resit policy
  • The feedback policy
  • Ensuring reasonable adjustments
  • Guidance on assessment outlines
  • Guidance on module documentation

Please note that this guidance is intended to be read by TEIs alongside the full University guidance on this policy, as set out in the Learning and Teaching Handbook 6.1 (Assessment Policies). The additional information below provides further clarification on the policy in the context of the Common Awards programmes.

In addition, this policy should be read in conjunction with:

TEIs will also wish to consult:

Expectations for TEIs

1. If group work skills are to be assessed summatively, key expectations are:

a) that the TEI should make provisions for assessing the group work component in the event that a student has to resit the assessment (e.g. by identifying the relevant learning outcomes that would have been met by the group work component, and providing an appropriate assessment task that would enable the student to meet that learning outcome);

b) the standard University assessment regulations apply, with the exception of the collusion regulations;

c) feedback should be made available to all group members, not a group representative;

d) where a group member has a disability, TEIs should ensure that they provide reasonable adjustment to ensure that the member can participate in the work.

2. Group work assessment outlines should clearly identify to students:

a) how marks will be allocated (TEIs should consider whether marks will be awarded for the process, such as how well the team collaborated). TEIs will wish to consult the Common Awards assessment criteria for group projects;

b) how students will submit their work (single submission on behalf of the group, or should each individual submit). See further the Common Awards assessment guidelines for group projects;

c) if each member of a group obtains the same mark, or if individual contributions will be assessed (and if so, how these individual contributions will be derived). See further the Common Awards assessment guidelines for group projects.

3. Students should be informed of:

a) how groups will be formed (self-selecting or pre-assigned) and strategies that will be applied if students drop out of groups. If groups are to be self-selecting it should be clear what the minimum/maximum size of the group should be and the procedures for the management of groups that fall outside of these boundaries;

b) how groups will be managed. For instance:

i. will the groups be student led, or will a tutor be assigned? If it is the latter, what is their role? For instance, students must be informed if a tutor is observing group meetings to assign a process mark to each group participant;

ii. the opportunities available for group communication, including the availability of pre-timetabled sessions, access to technology or software (such as module blogs) or if students will be required to make their own arrangements;

iii. what groups should do if they have a member who is not contributing, e.g. because of absence due to long-term sickness, or for those not participating to an expected standard.