About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4300-4302
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

SMALL GROUP PROJECTS TO PROVIDE CONTEXT AND BUILD STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

N. Seth

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College (UNITED STATES)
The Business Administration program at our college targets a number of institution-wide learning outcomes. We are a new institution and will soon be seeking accreditation for this program. Consequently, we are developing our courses in an intentional way that serves the twin goals of achievement of learning outcomes as well as gaining wider recognition through accreditation.

In this presentation I discuss the use of small-group projects to address several of these objectives. The most obvious one is for students to work as members of a team. This is valued at our institution and is one of the outcomes that accreditation agencies for business and management programs also seek in programs that they oversee.

Additionally, the series of small-group projects that I describe serve to build student engagement through research and application of the topics they are examining in the classroom (face to face or online). Students have the leeway to select the subject of their projects, as long as they fall within certain parameters common to all groups.

The assignments are a series of short papers and a final presentation. They are part of an overall term project, are scaffolded and carefully scheduled to tie in with and provide context to topics being covered in class, thereby reinforcing the classroom discussion.

While each section of the project is low stakes, relative to the overall assessment requirements for the course, the full project comprises a significant proportion of the course grade. This ensures that a single part of the project helps in learning for that topic and subsequent ones; however a sub-par performance on one section will not have a major adverse impact on a student’s grade.
Since the projects also require considerable writing and a final presentation, they address learning outcomes related to building communication skills in writing and presentation. A peer evaluation rubric is included and part of the overall grade is individual to each group member. These create incentives for students to put in a strong effort, while attempting to address the free-rider problem that can plague group projects.

Finally, such projects require students to collaborate in person and/or virtually and are submitted online. This helps build skills in the use of technologies such as wikis, discussion boards and electronic portfolios. These are also skills that are valued by our institution and ones that students can continue to use and build upon in their continued academic or professional trajectories.
@InProceedings{SETH2015SMA,
author = {Seth, N.},
title = {SMALL GROUP PROJECTS TO PROVIDE CONTEXT AND BUILD STUDENT ENGAGEMENT},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {4300-4302}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Seth
TI - SMALL GROUP PROJECTS TO PROVIDE CONTEXT AND BUILD STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 4300
EP - 4302
ER -
N. Seth (2015) SMALL GROUP PROJECTS TO PROVIDE CONTEXT AND BUILD STUDENT ENGAGEMENT, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 4300-4302.
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