Effectiveness of Group Work in the Colleges of Royal University of Bhutan


  • Karma Utha Royal University of Bhutan
  • Tshering Tshering Royal University of Bhutan




Group work, collaboration, assessment, interdependence, free riders


Group work has become an essential assessment practice to enhance students' learning and develop social skills in all higher education institutions. The study was undertaken to find out the effectiveness of group work. A mixed method sequential explanatory design was adopted with 181 tutors and 1241 students of nine constituent colleges of Royal University of Bhutan. The findings revealed that the students prefer group work and were aware of its benefits. However, the individual and group accountability were lacking leading to the presence of free riders. Further, awarding the same grade on a task irrespective of individuals’ contribution has led to increased free riders resulting in preference of individual tasks. Unless documentation is used for fair assessment, giving the same grade is seen as not a viable option in the current practice. Also, group work lacked interdependence due to division of work among members leading to limited opportunities for students to collaborate and enhance their social skills. Some of the recommendations are: to pay attention to group work design to promote interdependence in enhancing learning and social skills; to use documentation as evidence for group work assessment to minimize free riders; and to conduct a study to find out whether use of documentation in group work assignments leads to individual accountability.

Author Biographies

Karma Utha, Royal University of Bhutan

Karma Utha is an Assistant Professor at Samtse College of Education. She teaches Physics, assessment, research and teaching methods. She is also engaged in supervising master level dissertation. Her research interest are in assessment, pedagogical practices, artificial intelligence, policy and STEM.

Tshering Tshering, Royal University of Bhutan

Mr. Tshering is a Lecturer at Samtse College of Education of Royal university of Bhutan. He teaches educational assessment and evaluation, research methods and Biology education. His research areas are in educational assessment, and educational technologies. 




How to Cite

Utha, K. ., & Tshering, T. (2021). Effectiveness of Group Work in the Colleges of Royal University of Bhutan. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.17102/bjrd.rub.10.2.007