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Publication Detail
Assessing and giving feedback to students working in teams: an staff perspective on the IPAC assessment methodology
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Garcia Souto M
  • Name of Conference:
    14th International Technology, Education and Development conference (INTED2020)
  • Conference place:
    Valencia, Spain
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Keywords:
    IPAC, Peer assessment, group work, team work, feedback, student training
  • Conference URL:
Higher Education Institutions recognize their part in the responsibility of preparing students for professional life after graduation. The educational changes implemented in this regard quite broadly within the sector include the incorporation of significant and relevant group work activities. These activities present an opportunity for “authentic” assessment (of relevance to the discipline but also within a more complex and real context), as well as developing the students’ soft skills and ability to work in teams. However, the use of group work comes with several challenges that academics face regardless of the discipline of study. One of the main issues is fairness of marks, particularly when all members of the group receive the same mark independently of their level of contribution to the team. Related to this, are the issues of the “passenger” figure and the consequent student dissatisfaction among those engaged. Finally, there is a tendency to hope that students will learn to work in teams and to communicate better just by putting them in this group work situations, when actually we could be supporting them further in this regard. The IPAC methodology (IPAC standing for Individual Peer Assessment of Contribution to group work) is a method of assessment that differentiates individual marks based on the effort /professional behaviour of each individual as assessed by their peers. The IPAC methodology addresses the staff and students’ concerns of mark fairness, as well as discourages “passengers” and engage students, and give a better overall students experience. But most interestingly, this methodology also opens the possibility of getting students to give feedback to their peers in terms of their performance, behaviour and contribution towards the team dynamics, as well as students learning about how their own performance/behaviour/contributions have been perceived by others. This is of great relevance, as in real-World professional teams they will need to be able to have these conversations in a professional and constructive way with the members of their team, accept the criticisms towards themselves and adapt to the circumstances. The IPAC methodology can be implemented in various ways [1], including the possibility of given different forms and levels of feedback to the students. This paper looks at various case studies done in a range of fields of knowledge at 2 universities, specifically in terms of (a) the feedback given to the students, and (b) the training provided to (b1) write feedback to peers and (b2) to receive and accept feedback from others. Recommendations and guidelines for best practice are given. This is of interest to anyone running group work activities. All these case studies have used the IPAC software (developed at UCL) [2]. The software allows staff to run the IPAC methodology in a time-efficient manner, as well as to provide feedback to students even in large classes. The IPAC software is currently used broadly at our institution, and expanding to other universities. References [1] Garcia-Souto MdP, et al. (2019) Individual peer assessment of contribution to group work (IPAC): Key points and recommendations. Proceedings of the SEFI 47th Annual Conference, pp. 1553-65. [2] Garcia-Souto MdP (2019) Making assessment of group work fairer and more insightful for students and time-efficient for staff with the new IPAC software. INTED2019 Conference Proceedings, pp. 8636-41. ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1. DOI: 10.21125/inted.2019.2154.
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