Approaches for Assessing Group Work
Assessing group work involves evaluating a group's achievement of learning outcomes through collaborative assignments or projects (product), that group's ability to work together (process), and/or the individual group members' contributions. Approaches to group assessment may combine student self-assessment, peer ratings, and instructor evaluation strategies.
Let students know in advance what will be assessed—i.e., which aspects of the final group product, the group work process, and individual contributions will be assessed; when they will be assessed—i.e., how often during the group work period; and who will be assessing them. Use rubrics, Likert scale style surveys, the plus-delta exercise, and/or other instruments to guide the group work assessment. Recommendations from multiple sources (Carnegie Mellon, n.d.; Oakley et al., 2004) are organized in the following table. Select the pieces that work for group work in your class.
Assessing the Group's
Assessing the Group Work Process
|Self-Assessment||Use quizzes to evaluate what each student has learned, as well as reflective self-reports of their own contributions.||Ask students to describe the relative value of their contributions toward the final product, and to report what they might do to improve the final product.||Ask students to document and assess their own participation in the group work process.|
|Peer Assessment||Use evaluation forms or quizzes for each student to rate the contributions of the other team members.||Use evaluation forms or survey questions for students to rate the value of each team member's contributions to the end product.||Ask students to document and rate each other's participation in the group work process.|
|Instructor Assessment||Ask students to note which contributions they made (e.g., with initials or highlighting) or use the history tab in a wiki or Google Doc to review individual work on a project.||Use a rubric to evaluate how well the group's end product demonstrates achievement of the learning outcomes.||Include peer input as a percentage of students' grades.|
References and Additional Resources
Carnegie Mellon Eberly Center. (n.d.). How can I assess group work?
Oakley, B.; Felder, R.M.; Brent, R. & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams. Journal of Student Centered Learning, 2(1), 9-34.
Western University Centre for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Assessing teamwork/group work.
Dr. Kevin Kelly, Lecturer at San Francisco State University
August 4, 2020