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1) "Student Satisfaction with groupwork in undergraduate computer science: do things get better?"

Authors: Helen Drury, Judy Kay and Warren Losberg

This article attempts at evaluating how students rated their experience with groupwork in both first year and third year undergraduate computer science classes by giving these students a series of questionnaires. For the first year students, the questionnaires and surveys targeted both semesters of a year long class, where the first semester was broken down into two problems, the first being a month-long group problem solving exercise and the second being a group-problem solving exercise which lasts the rest of the semester. The third year sample size was smaller than the first year and percentages are reported for various questions.

For the first year students, during the first problem, groupwork skills were explicitly taught. The questions and surveys "sought both quantitative and qualitative data on their satisfaction with group components and group dynamics". More than half the students reported that the group product was better than they could have created acting alone. But at the same time, the second semester saw a decline among some students in their experience with groupwork, as contributions of others in the group and time organization and management issues came to the forefront.

Comparing the first and third year students, the article suggested an overall increase in positive experiences with groupwork, and a greater percentage of third year students reported they worked well in groups compared to first years. The article implied that this increase could mean third year students had adapted well to working in groups as opposed to the more "independent" first year students. Furthermore, third year students reported a greater improvement in interpersonal and self-evaluation skills in groupwork.

The article also discussed how first year students were fairly new to taking on group tasks and managing and allocating time. Furthermore, the first year students were also novices at managing the diversity in knowledge and culture in their group. A possible solution is to build in both the teaching of groupwork skills and structured reflection on what had been learned from the group process into regular course teaching.

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