Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

All the files are under embargo

Reason: Access to the data is subject to the approval of a data sharing agreement due to the personal information contained in the dataset.

Data on students' group project preferences

posted on 2022-07-26, 09:41 authored by Tim M. BenningTim M. Benning

The data files contain information about the preferences of bachelor 1 and 2 students obtained via a discrete choice experiment (12 choice tasks per respondent), demographic characteristics of the sample and population, experiences with free-riding,  attitude towards teamwork, and a measure of individualism/collectivism. Students were presented a different grade weight before each choice task (i.e., 10%, 30%, or 100%). The data was collected from mid-June to mid-July 2021.

Access to the data is subject to the approval of a data sharing agreement due to the personal information contained in the dataset.

A summary of the publication can be found below:

Reducing free-riding is an important challenge for educators who use group projects. In this study, we measure students’ preferences for group project characteristics and investigate if characteristics that better help to reduce free-riding become more important for students when stakes increase. 

We used a discrete choice experiment based on twelve choice tasks in which students chose between two group projects that differed on five characteristics of which each level had its own effect on free-riding. A different group project grade weight was presented before each choice task to manipulate how much there was at stake for students in the group project. Data of 257 student respondents were used in the analysis.

Based on random parameter logit model estimates we find that students prefer (in order of importance) assignment based on schedule availability and motivation or self-selection (instead of random assignment), the use of one or two peer process evaluations (instead of zero), a small team size of three or two students (instead of four), a common grade (instead of a divided grade), and a discussion with the course coordinator without a sanction as a method to handle free-riding (instead of member expulsion). Furthermore, we find that the characteristic team formation approach becomes even more important (especially self-selection) when student stakes increase.

Educators can use our findings to design group projects that better help to reduce free-riding by (1) avoiding random assignment as team formation approach, (2) using (one or two) peer process evaluations, and (3) creating small(er) teams.


This research was funded by the Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.


Usage metrics

    Erasmus School of Economics



    Ref. manager