Given that the ability to work as an effective team member is a key skill required in most areas, the use of team/group work can encourage development of this skill. Issues to consider in the use of team work include:
• How will the groups be formed? Will students form their own groups (though often students may self-select by ability)? Should the tutor allocate students randomly to provide fairness?
• What is to be assessed? Is it the product or outcome of the team work or is it the process of team work that is being assessed?
• How are students to be introduced to team work? Students need to understand the benefits of team work and thus it is important to set the scene and be clear on exactly what is being assessed. A few exercises may be set early on to help students reflect on team/group skills before the actual work commences.
• How will the assessment criteria for the team work be developed? It is suggested that assessment criteria should be introduced slowly and that students should have the opportunity to add criteria of their own with the agreement of the tutor. Allocation of marks to each criterion should be discussed with the students.