Guidance on working with others
When working with others, you need to take additional considerations into account.
Co-operation / Collaboration:
openly working with another / others for mutual benefit and with no deception of others (Moon 2005).
When working in a group towards an assignment, you must read the assignment brief carefully to clarify whether you should produce an individual or group assignment.
Working on an individual assignment
When preparing an individual assignment, you may find it useful to work with others, or you may be encouraged or required to do so by your tutor. You might work with others to:
- clarify your understanding of the requirements of an assignment
- share sources such as books, journals, articles, websites
- explore ideas and critique theories
- reflect on experiences
- approach a tutor or module leader to clarify issues or concerns about the work.
Collaborating with others is a valuable part of learning. It is, however, only a forerunner to the creation of an individual piece of work, and you must take care that a situation does not develop where there is no real distinction between your individual work and that of your fellow students.
When you’re required to produce an individual assignment:
- you must not produce the final submission as a joint or group process. This would be collusion and is regarded as an academic assessment offence
- your individual assignment must be your own original writing, with the required referencing conventions. It must not include material copied, re-structured or paraphrased from another student’s work and presented as your own
- if you suspect that other students will use your work to submit as their own, you should avoid sharing your research with them, or allowing them to read drafts of your assignment.
See if you can identify plagiarism and collusion.
Working on a group assignment
Group work is about collaboration towards a collective goal.You learn how to work with others and to manage the different styles and talents within a team. For a group assignment, you are expected to produce the work as a group, with each member making an equal contribution.
This collective responsibility means that:
- any group member who fails to participate equally is effectively taking advantage of the others.On submission of the assignment s/he would benefit unfairly from their efforts and therefore would commit an assessment offence. Other group members should not allow this to happen, and should follow the relevant guidance given by the module handbook or tutor
- all members of the group are responsible for the content and quality of the work. They should all therefore review the final draft to ensure that it is the work of the whole group, and that it has been properly referenced. Any mistakes – including intentional or unintentional plagiarism – will be deemed the responsibility of all group members, not just of the person delegated to write it up.