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An exploration of the effects of group summative assessment marking on higher education students’ overall marks

ALMOND, RICHARD,JAMES (2013) An exploration of the effects of group summative assessment marking on higher education students’ overall marks. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Groupwork and group summative assessment (GSA) are important learning, teaching and assessment methods used by many educational institutions, not just universities. The differences between the marks that HEI students were awarded for their own independent individual summative assessment (IISA) work and their GSA marks were explored.

The study topic presented itself while the author was contemplating studying for a first degree, when it became apparent that group working and group summative assessment was included in summative assessment methods used in the chosen programme.

Three data sources were from UK undergraduates and graduates, and one was from Australian PG students. Module marks data were collected from over 4000 HE students. They were divided into eighteen faculty/year data sets from four HEI sources.

A systematic difference was found between the distributions of GSA and IISA marks, supporting Lejk et al. (1999). Lower IISA ability students scored higher in GSA modules than in IISA modules. Higher IISA ability students scored lower in GSA modules.

In addition, the mean GSA mark was higher than the mean IISA mark. The standard deviation of the GSA marks was lower than the SD of the IISA marks. Both of these findings support Downie (2001). The relationship was found to vary between the data sets, modules, assessment items and especially between faculties.

The results and conclusions from this study will empower stakeholders, enabling them to be better informed in their choice of first-degree study programmes. They will also allow the use and impact of GSA to be more transparent and better understood, leading to further research and improvement in practice.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 May 2013 10:04

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