'It's a bit of a generalisation, but...': participant perspectives on intercultural group assessment in higher education
This paper reports on domestic and international students' perceptions of the influence of group diversity on communication, learning, task performance and assessment grades. The study's methodology involved quantitative and qualitative analysis of surveys (N = 312), focus group interviews of students (n = 26) and individual staff interviews (N = 7). More domestic (79%) than international (29%) students stated that they preferred working with students from a similar background. While a proportion of the sample of domestic students stated that intercultural group work raised their awareness of interaction styles in other cultures, others noted that the group experience was negatively affected by issues related to language proficiency and awareness of academic requirements. Qualitative analysis reveals that 'othering', a process by which members of an in group (Us) distance themselves from an outgroup (Them), was often used as a basis for these students avoiding intercultural group assessment. Finally, there was a clear pattern overall of higher achieving international and domestic students perceiving that their grades for group assignments were below what they would normally receive for individual assignments, and lower achieving students perceiving that their grades were higher for group assignments.