Reducing costly free-rider effects via OASIS

Ming Ming CHIU, Chi Keung WOO, Alice SHIU, Yun LIU, Bonnie X. LUO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: A team member might exert little effort and exploit teammates’ work (free riding), which can discourage their efforts. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether free riding devalues team projects and whether an online assessment system for individual scores (OASIS) system can reduce student perceptions of free riding and its harmful effects. OASIS includes: contractual commitment, team discussion, median peer assessment of each member’s contribution, assessment revision opportunities, conditional teacher participation and final appeal.

: University students (238 in India and 60 in Hong Kong) completed pre-and post-surveys.

Findings: Students who valued team projects more than others experienced fewer past free riders, viewed team members as contributing equally, or viewed free riding as harming fair grading. After OASIS, these students reported that only 3 percent of their teammates were free riders, and were less likely to perceive that free riders had harmed them or hindered fair grading. Results did not differ across gender or regions.

Research limitations/implications: These data are correlational rather than longitudinal, and hence cannot determine causality.

Practical implications: The OASIS system requires a computer.

Originality/value: This is the first study to test a system for reducing free riders across countries. Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-48
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Issue number1
Early online dateSept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Chiu, M. M., Woo, C. K., Shiu, A., Liu, Y., & Luo, B. X. (2020). Reducing costly free-rider effects via OASIS. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, 22(1), 30-48. doi: 10.1108/IJCED-07-2019-0041


  • Collaborative learning
  • Cooperative learning
  • Post-secondary education
  • Free rider
  • TDG project code: T0198
  • Period: TDG 2016-2017
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG)
  • Teaching Development Grant (TDG) Output


Dive into the research topics of 'Reducing costly free-rider effects via OASIS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.