R.M. Belda, F. Fornes

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
Changes in the paradigm of learning imply that at Universities students are not only assessed for their knowledge of a particular subject but also for the acquisition of transversal competences related to the professional skills of their degree. Among such competences “teamwork and leadership” shows some difficulty in its assessment (i.e. the design of appropriate activities, the provision of the adequate size of learning groups, the implementation of the right evaluation procedures…). In first-year degree students the task is complex as teams have to be organised before students know each other.

The aim of the present study was to analyse various evaluation systems for teamwork and leadership. In order to do so an experiment was carried out with four high performance groups of 24 students belonging to the first year of the degree of Biotechnology. A different lecturer was assigned to each group. Eight teams of three were organised in each group. The task consisted of preparing and presenting a topic to the classmates. In one of the groups, evaluation of teamwork was carried out by the lecturer, in the second group the mark for “teamwork and leadership” was obtained by self and peer-evaluation and in the other two by an in-between of the two types of evaluation procedures. At the end of the activity both lecturers and students were asked to give their opinion on the evaluation system. In the case of the students the opinion was anonymous. Two types of results were obtained: quantitative (i.e. individual marks for teamwork and leadership) and qualitative (i.e. anonymous opinions). Quantitative results were analysed with descriptive statistics and qualitative with Ground Theory based analyses.

Results showed that students are tougher judges of each other’s work than lecturers. Female students tended to judge their team mates better than themselves, whilst male students did not show this bias. Students preferred lecturers to be responsible for the marks of this competence rather than their teammates. They argued that teammates do not have the background and knowledge to assess each other. However, lecturers would rather have the students assess the competence as they felt they did not have access to the entire process and could only fairly mark the final product (i. e. presentation). Finally we suggest a possible design of activities with a mixed evaluation of teamwork and leadership.