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Group projects: What do students want?

Ben McMillen
The University of Western Australia
Group projects are used in many of the science based units taught within the Faculty of Agriculture at UWA. There are many reasons why lecturers assign group projects, and these will often be guided by the nature of the subject matter being taught. Two common aims of assigning group projects are to provide students with 'real life' work situations, and to engage and encourage students in collaborative learning. The aims of lecturers when assigning group projects, however, may not always be fully appreciated or accepted by students undertaking the projects.

Students working in group projects in SS240/301 at UWA were surveyed to assess whether they understood and accepted the aims that lecturers had when assigning group projects, whether their aims were different to that of the lecturers, and how participation in group work might have affected their academic lives. The results of this survey will be presented, and will include a discussion on the aspects of science based group work which should be assessed, and by whom.

Author: Ben McMillen, PhD Student/UWA Teaching Intern, Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, The University of Western Australia. benmcm@agric.uwa.edu.au

Presentation format: Roundtable

Please cite as: McMillen, B. (2002). Group projects: What do students want? In Focusing on the Student. Proceedings of the 11th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 5-6 February 2002. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2002/abstracts/mcmillen-abs.html

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