Join Kevin Kelly for an in-depth discussion in this video Assessing team projects, part of Teaching with Technology.
- There's plenty of research about the benefits of collaborative learning, but let's be honest, sometimes managing team projects can be tough. Teams may face conflicts, members who dominate, poor communication and more. If we just focus on assessing team projects, then technology can help with assessing both the team process and the final product. Keep track of individual contributions. Provide a centralized environment for both peer review and teacher feedback. And, assign grades and provide feedback to individual group members as well as the whole team.
When it comes to team projects, teachers can have a hard time telling who did what or how much each student contributed. By asking students to use certain tools like Google Docs or wikis, the technology can help you track individual contributions. An easy way to see contributions is to ask each student to pick a different text color or to follow each contribution with their initials. Keep in mind, that as drafts of projects progress, some students work may get modified or deleted. By looking at the history of a Google Doc or a wiki page, you can see who made edits, when they made them, and even see the difference between versions.
This is a quick way to see who contributed and who did not, but reviewing each version takes more time. By asking each student to prepare a portfolio of the contributions, you can review them in addition to the final team project. This also helps students whose contributions are reduced or deleted during the editing process. Make sure they post those contributions throughout the project to be sure they don't submit them after the deadline. By asking students to conduct a review of themselves and their teammates, you can triangulate evidence with reports.
You can use a Google Form to collect the self-review and peer review scores and comments. You can create pull-down menus or radio buttons for students to select. Ask students to rate themselves and each of their teammates. Jay Alden from National Defense University suggest using criteria such as cooperation, contribution, communication, feedback and dependability. Give them space to type comments. If you tell students in advance, you can use the combined peer review scores as a percentage of the individual student's grade.
By asking students to submit their contribution separately to a centralized space, you know immediately who did what. For example, some projects can be split into parts. Use a tool like VoiceThread, where each student can upload their own work while being part of a bigger team presentation. For this type of team project, the students might be required to give each other feedback via text or voice comments, and make sure their individual parts align with the others in the group. Make sure that students put their name on each image or slide, in case the order is reorganized to put together the final product.
If you institution has a Learning Management System, then you may be able to use the group functionality to your advantage when it comes to assigning grades. For example, Moodle allows groups to submit work as a team, but allows you to assign grades to individuals or the team as a whole. These assessment strategies for team projects help you and your students. You get a better picture of who does what. Students will get upset less often when their grades are no longer affected by peers who don't contribute. Before reviewing the next movie, take a minute to answer the following questions for yourself.
How will you use technology to track individual contributions to team projects? How will you use a centralized environment to facilitate peer review and teacher feedback? And, how will you assign grades for individual work and the final team product?
Author Kevin Kelly explains how learning outcomes can be adapted to support technology in the classroom, and guides educators through selecting the appropriate technology for their activity, module, or class. Then he shows how to apply technology in three key areas: finding, creating, and sharing content with students; facilitating classroom activities; and assessing learning inside the classroom or online.
- Including technology in your learning outcomes
- Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
- Finding and creating content and instructional materials
- Enhancing lectures and presentations with technology
- Getting students involved
- Facilitating in-class activities
- Assessing learning
- Teaching effectively online