Reflective writing as a tool for assessing teamwork in bioscience: insights into student performance and understanding of teamwork

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To ensure a modern bioscience curriculum that responds to the current needs of stakeholders, there is a need to embed a range of generic capabilities that enables graduates to succeed in and contribute to a rapidly changing world, as well as building strong bioscience skills and knowledge. The curriculum must also prepare students for a rapidly evolving competitive work place and align with the needs of industry. This creates a challenge, how do we develop generic capabilities without losing discipline content. This report analyses teamwork projects embedded in an undergraduate Biotechnology degree designed to promote teamwork skills along with a deeper understanding of the underpinning biochemistry. Student reflective writing was used to capture students understanding and experience of teamwork as well as provide insight into their metacognition. The analysis demonstrates that 73 of Year 3 and 93 of Year 4 students were capable of learning about teamwork through reflective writing. While the importance of frequent high quality communication was a common theme, evidence suggests that many students were unsophisticated in their use of communication software. The analysis also highlighted the depth of metacognition that underpins successful team function and the significant weaknesses in self-insight some students possess. These findings challenge assumptions regarding student capacity for leadership and the ability of some students to contribute to successful team outcomes. It is essential for the design of teamwork experiences to fully understand the competencies that underlie teamwork, the metacognitive processes required, and ensure that assessments are fair and measure individual academic performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234 - 240
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this

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abstract = "To ensure a modern bioscience curriculum that responds to the current needs of stakeholders, there is a need to embed a range of generic capabilities that enables graduates to succeed in and contribute to a rapidly changing world, as well as building strong bioscience skills and knowledge. The curriculum must also prepare students for a rapidly evolving competitive work place and align with the needs of industry. This creates a challenge, how do we develop generic capabilities without losing discipline content. This report analyses teamwork projects embedded in an undergraduate Biotechnology degree designed to promote teamwork skills along with a deeper understanding of the underpinning biochemistry. Student reflective writing was used to capture students understanding and experience of teamwork as well as provide insight into their metacognition. The analysis demonstrates that 73 of Year 3 and 93 of Year 4 students were capable of learning about teamwork through reflective writing. While the importance of frequent high quality communication was a common theme, evidence suggests that many students were unsophisticated in their use of communication software. The analysis also highlighted the depth of metacognition that underpins successful team function and the significant weaknesses in self-insight some students possess. These findings challenge assumptions regarding student capacity for leadership and the ability of some students to contribute to successful team outcomes. It is essential for the design of teamwork experiences to fully understand the competencies that underlie teamwork, the metacognitive processes required, and ensure that assessments are fair and measure individual academic performance.",
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Reflective writing as a tool for assessing teamwork in bioscience: insights into student performance and understanding of teamwork. / Mayne, Lynne.

In: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, Vol. 40, No. 4, 2012, p. 234 - 240.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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