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Individual Group Work Assessment – Formative Written Feedback as a means for Promoting Collaboration and Individual Accountability
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1391-3346
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7117-5620
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Group work can provide students with valuable opportunities for cooperative learning both of knowledge and abilities related to academic factors and of collaborative skills. However, the requirement from the curriculum to assess students’ knowledge and ability individually in group work is a challenging and complex task for teachers. In addition, research on group work assessment in educational context is a neglected research area, and especially individual group work assessment. Accordingly, little theoretical knowledge or useful tools have been provided to assist teachers in this important but difficult task. A special challenge, compared to traditional assessment in education, seems to be how to discern individual knowledge from the joint work when assessing. One way for teachers to assess students during group work, and simultaneously promote their further work and learning, is to provide them with individual formative assessment, by employing feedback. Recent studies indicates that teachers’ feedback to the students also may support individual accountability, i.e., facilitates students’ ability to work more independently in group work where everyone is responsible for their part of the work but also for the group's joint assignments. Against this backdrop, the aim of this presentation is to explore and problematize in what way teachers’ formative written feedback, on students’ individual work during group work promotes or impedes collaboration and individual accountability.  

 

Social Interdependence Theory emphasizing positive interdependence as means for promoting collaboration as well as individual accountability for well-functioning group work, together with Shute’s (2008) guidelines for useful feedback, are utilized as overarching theoretical perspectives. Shute claims that there are several types of feedback that can be delivered and a large variability of the effects for the students. Useful feedback depends, according to Shute (2008), on motive, opportunity and means, that is, meet the student’s needs and is given when the student is prepared to use the feedback. 

 

The study focuses on written formative feedback as means for formative assessment. Data were obtained through 149 feedback documents from six teachers. Feedback was given during a group work assignment when students were working on the individual part of the common group task. The teachers were asked to use their own words in the written response to each student. The analysis was accomplished using an inductive thematic approach and Shute’s (2008) synthesized recommendations and guidelines to interpret and understand the teachers’ written feedback. 

 

The results display that the written feedback to the students includes comments on following levels: individual (“you”), group (“your group) and “not distinct” (not possible to discern which level). Furthermore, the results display that the teachers convey feedback in manageable units, focusing on the task to enhance the quality of the work or to promote collaboration and individual accountability. Thus, the paper contributes with relevant Nordic educational research by presenting theoretical knowledge on the sparsely researched area concerning written individual feedback as a means for formative assessment in connection with group work assessment.

References 

Shute, V. J. (2008). Focus on formative feedback. Review of Educational Research, 78(1), 153–189.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. p. 21-22
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-188182ISBN: 978-9935-468-22-2 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-188182DiVA, id: diva2:1693107
Conference
Education and involvement in precarious times. NERA conference 2022/[ed] Michael Dal Reykjavik, 2022, p.21-22 Abstract book.
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 721 2012-5476Available from: 2022-09-05 Created: 2022-09-05 Last updated: 2022-09-05

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Forslund Frykedal, KarinHammar Chiriac, Eva

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