Comparing group based and individual assessment

Project Details


Traditionally, project exams at the faculty of Engineering, Science and Medicine at Aalborg University have been group-based with subsequent individual grading. In 2006 the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Ministry of Education, banned group-based exams. The consolidated act (LBEK 280 of 21/03/2006) came into force from the 1st of April 2006. Therefore, a new assessment system had to be developed in order to meet the requirements for individual assessment. The research questions are what are the advantages and disadvantages of individual and group based assessment and how an individual assessment system will influence the PBL practice at Aalborg University

In the spring of 2006, a longitudinal study was initiated to compare the two assessment systems using both qualitative and quantitative methods. A thorough investigation was made at the summer exam 2006 to gather experience from students, facilitators and examiners, in order to compare the strength and weaknesses of individual versus group-based project exams in a problem based learning environment.

This research project is mainly responsible for the quantitative study. A questionnaire was designed to 1) document the group-based assessment and the potentials and problems connected with this assessment system, 2) report on the first experiences with the individual assessments system from students enrolled as bachelors, 3) get an impression of the attitudes and expectations towards the new assessment system which could be compared with the actual experiences when the system is fully implemented.

The questionnaire was designed to cover seven themes:

  • 1. Background information about the respondents - gender, occupation, experience with the educational system and more specifically with the type of assessment system.
  • 2. Expectations and experiences with the differentiation of grades within a group-based and individual assessment system.
  • 3. Relationship between assessment systems and the impact on the learning process.
  • 4. The opinions towards group-based exams versus individual exams.
  • 5. The skills that are assessed within the different assessment systems, considering both the scientific-technological skills and the process skills.
  • 6. The assessment process as a learning process focusing on whether the students enhance their skills during assessment.
  • 7. The overall stand towards the two assessment systems, considering what the respondents would prefer based on an overall view and which argumentations they use to support their opinion.

Data have been collected at all faculties at Aalborg University, but only at the engineering faculty has it been possible to compare the two different assessment systems at the summer exam 2006. The other two faculties will follow.

Effective start/end date01/04/200631/12/2008


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