Dali a mature student holding a briefcase

You are the Judge: Da Li 's Scenario

Da Li has teamed up with two friends to do a group project for his module. They plan the project together, then decide that each person will do a different task. Da Li will do the technical work, one friend will do background research and the other will do the writing up. All three meet to discuss things as the project progresses. They also read the written report, add comments and make changes together. The final polished report is submitted by the three friends. Da Li is alarmed when, a week later, he is called in to see his tutor about plagiarism.


Feedback for Da Li's Scenario

Everything here depends on what the students were asked to do.

Even in a group assignment, tutors want to make sure that each of you achieves the learning outcomes of the module.

If the project contains a number of tasks such as research, analysis, evaluation and design, it is desirable for all of you to learn, discuss, apply and evaluate the knowledge, techniques and skills that are involved. All too often, groups distribute work according to who is best at a task, which means that the weaker members of the group do not get the same learning opportunities as the strongest members.

A better approach would be to:

  1. Read the assignment instructions carefully so that you understand the criteria that will be used to mark your work
  2. Discuss your planned approach with your tutor first
  3. Ensure that your plan enables all group members to achieve the learning outcomes of the module
  4. Take notes at your joint meetings and keep a record/diary of your contribution to the group project, and include them as an appendix. In fact, it is sometimes a requirement in such projects that each student submits such a record to help tutors see that all members have satisfied the required learning outcomes.