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Nurse Educ Pract. 2014 Mar;14(2):112-6. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2013.07.012. Epub 2013 Aug 17.

Understanding nursing students' perspectives on the grading of group work assessments.

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University South Australia, School of Nursing and Midwifery, City East Campus, North Tce, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia. Electronic address:
Flinders University, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Sturt Rd, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia. Electronic address:


Grading group work assessments so that students perceive the grade to be fair to all group members is sometimes challenging. This is particularly important in a higher education environment that is increasingly concerned with student perceptions of teaching quality and satisfaction. This article reports on research that compared undergraduate nursing students perceptions of two different approaches to the grading of group work assessment. A survey design was used to identify students' perspectives and preferences for different group work assessment methods. Participants were undergraduate bachelor of nursing students from a large, metropolitan university in Australia. Data analysis indicated that the perceptions of students around group work assessments changed little as they progressed across the program, although students who had experienced the calculation of individual grades for a group assessment preferred this approach. Many believed the grading of group assessments penalised good students and were less reliable than individual assessments. Students maintained the belief that teamwork skills were essential for the registered nurse role. In conclusion group work assessment should only be used when it is the best assessment method to demonstrate student learning of specific objectives. The weighted mark approach is the group work assessment grading approach of choice.


Assessment; Education; Group work; Nursing

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