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Title On The Impact of Grading on Teamwork Quality in a Software Engineering Capstone Course
Authors Cecilia Bastarrica, Francisco Gutierrez, Maira Marques, Daniel Perovich
Publication date April 2023
Abstract Every semester, we deliver a capstone course on software
engineering where students undertake a real-world project in three
iterations. By the end of each iteration, students are graded in several
dimensions: software quality, project management, and peer assessment. The
latter is the only grade assigned individually; therefore, students who are
penalized by their teams (e.g., for being perceived as low contributors to
the team effort) are not severely affected. This results in little incentive
for improvement, which potentially jeopardizes the overall quality of the
project outcome. Envisaging to promote team cohesion, we devised a new
grading rule: if the peer assessment of a student is lower than a threshold,
that would be their final grade in the iteration. This paper reports the
results of studying the effectiveness of the proposed rule. We recorded peer
assessments over six consecutive semesters: (1) the first three as the
baseline measure; (2) the semester where we introduced the new grading rule;
and (3) the following two semesters, as a contrast. When the rule was first
introduced, peer assessments resulted low and heavily spread at the
beginning, but they consistently improved toward the end of the semester.
When the instructional team already trusted the rule and explicitly
emphasized its application, peer assessments consistently grew along the
semester but resulted in fewer outliers. The study results show that
exposing peer assessments earlier on helps promote team reflection. They
also made evident the positive impact of teamwork for producing quality
products in a software engineering capstone course.
Pages 36492-36503
Volume 11
Journal name IEEE Access
Publisher IEEE Computer Society Press (Los Alamitos, CA, USA)
Reference URL View reference page