Mount Royal University Re-evaluation of Group Based Assessment
I have a problem with group projects. Not group projects themselves, but their overuse in Mount Royal University. As a business student, I fully understand the importance of collaborating with peers, working cooperatively and role as each student being an integral part of the bigger picture. In this respect, group project are a great tool in teaching us how to succeed in society after school.
However, I fail to understand the necessity for including group projects in almost every course Mount Royal offers as a tool for evaluating individual knowledge, application and effort. Why is a large portion of my overall grade, a representation of my academic performance, reliant on the contributions of several other students? How does a peer review worth a fraction of the overall mark assess my individual effort or understanding? How does a grading scheme that restricts the professor's options to only reducing marks of those who don't contribute or participate help the students who do adequately contribute?
Proper time management is an important aspect of adjusting to life as a University student. Being able to delegate time and resources to ensure assignments are completed on time and to an acceptable standard are the student's responsibility. Requiring that each student not only account for their own schedule but the schedules of others in order to collaborate on an assignment worth a large portion of their overall mark is unjust. In the last week alone, I had four group assignments to complete. Worth an average percentage of 25%, and reliant on the cooperation, schedules and efforts of sixteen other students, this is not an effective way of evaluating a student at the post secondary level. I believe that group projects should be evaluated before they are approved for a course if they are to be used as means for student assessment, especially to the extent they currently are.