About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 325-333
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain


J. Clark1, T. Baker2

1Whitireia New Zealand (NEW ZEALAND)
2Wellington Institute of Technology (NEW ZEALAND)
International researchers have produced extensive evidence of the educational benefits of students working in interactive learning groups. Cooperative learning is believed to prepare students for the modern participative workplace where employers are asking for the transferable skills of teamwork, communication and leadership. As a result assessment in groups is an increasingly common component of New Zealand tertiary programmes. Anecdotal and empirical evidence, however, suggests that cooperative learning can present significant assessment challenges for both lecturers and students.

Traditional assessment has two main aims: the first, summative assessment, recognises achievement and the second, formative assessment, facilitates learning by providing students with feedback on their performance. Traditional assessment practices, however, may undermine the objectives of cooperative learning and may discourage effective group functioning. It can be difficult for lecturers to devise assessment strategies that will address issues of individual and group accountability, will incorporate measurement of process and product and will address perceptions of unfairness and social loafing. Boud (2006) argues for a third aim in assessment: practices should also effectively equip students for a lifetime of assessing their own learning, a concept he calls sustainable assessment. This paper suggests that principles of sustainable assessment may be used to manage the challenges of student group work and to refocus assessment within groups to align it with long term learning both at work and in life.

This paper is based on the findings of a research project examining New Zealand experiences with cooperative learning in student tertiary groups. The paper addresses the particular challenges faced by lecturers who wish to use cooperative learning techniques for assessment purposes and recommends assessment strategies that will support the key elements of cooperative learning, such as positive interdependence and individual accountability, and that will also establish a sustainable basis for students to undertake their own assessment activities in the future.
author = {Clark, J. and Baker, T.},
series = {6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN14 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-0557-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {7-9 July, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {325-333}}
AU - J. Clark AU - T. Baker
SN - 978-84-617-0557-3/2340-1117
PY - 2014
Y1 - 7-9 July, 2014
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN14 Proceedings
SP - 325
EP - 333
ER -
J. Clark, T. Baker (2014) SUSTAINABLE ASSESSMENT IN COOPERATIVE LEARNING, EDULEARN14 Proceedings, pp. 325-333.