Attitudes of tertiary students towards a group project in a science unit

Bartle, Emma and Dook, Jan (2007). Attitudes of tertiary students towards a group project in a science unit. In: TL Forum 2007: Proceedings. TLF 07: Teaching and Learning Forum 2007, Perth, WA, Australia, (). 30-31 January 2007.

Author Bartle, Emma
Dook, Jan
Title of paper Attitudes of tertiary students towards a group project in a science unit
Conference name TLF 07: Teaching and Learning Forum 2007
Conference location Perth, WA, Australia
Conference dates 30-31 January 2007
Proceedings title TL Forum 2007: Proceedings
Place of Publication Bentley, WA, Australia
Publisher Curtin University of Technology
Publication Year 2007
Sub-type Published abstract
Open Access Status
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
A key factor sought by industry when hiring scientists is their ability to work as part of a team. It is essential that scientists are able to work in collaboration with a diverse range of people across multidisciplinary fields, both within their organisation and the wider community. Literature indicates that the incorporation of group based assessments within tertiary teaching provides opportunity for the development of interpersonal and communication skills, skills most important to a scientist's employability, productivity and career success.

This study considered the effectiveness of group work based assessments at a tertiary level. Two populations of students enrolled in different units were considered. First year viticulture students enrolled in a chemistry unit were required to produce an information poster on a chosen science topic, demonstrating understanding of the associated chemistry, appropriate use of diagrams and equations, showing links between concepts and ensuring visual appeal. Students enrolled in a science communication unit were required to produce a short iMovie on a chosen science topic, with the emphasis on communicating scientific concepts to a general audience within a given time frame. These are all essential skills for scientists in the workplace.

The students were surveyed to ascertain their feelings about a collaborative learning assessment task. Using a scale of agreement, they were asked to provide information on their level of interest in the project, their thoughts on working within a group, strategies used by their group to complete the task, challenges completing the assignment, information learned through collaborative learning, group dynamics and suggestions for change, and whether they thought overall that additional interpersonal and communication skills learned during the collaborative learning were of use and importance. Focus group interviews were also conducted with selected students. Data collected was analysed to examine the different processes related to group work and draw overall conclusions about the effectiveness of this type of assessment for tertiary students.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Created: Sat, 27 Sep 2014, 23:03:00 EST by Dr Emma Bartle on behalf of School of Medicine