|Different ways animals work in groups|
Group work offers students the chance to teach one another (and we all know that teaching is one of the best ways to really learn, understand and remember something).
However, groupwork has its downsides too. Often one student will be dependent on others not really giving their full effort. Other times, group-work is not properly divided. I talked about a group once that got in trouble for plagiarism. They had divided the group work as follows: Student1- Make the drinks they were going to pass out during class, Student2-Write the brochure, Student3- Format the brochure.
Do you see the problem with this? One person was doing all the research, citing, summarizing, etc. while the others did much less work. No wonder the student turned to plagiarism!
|Funny pie chart discussing the faults of group projects|
It is true that life isn't fair, but I feel that teachers should make grading as fair as possible.
HERE ARE A FEW WAYS I GRADE TEAMWORK
- Have team members grade one another. This is a popular way of keeping students involved. I usually make a "teamwork" grade worth about 5% of the total.
- Give a rubric!
- You can see a small portion of a rubric that I've used before. to the right.
- Give them a number of points they can divide among the group
- For example in a group of three I may give 10 points.
- If the students feel that their two team members worked well together they'd give each member 5 points.
- On the other hand, if they feel that one partner did a bit more than the other they would give one person 6 and one person 4
- Consequently, if one team member was amazing and one team member was pretty lousy the points could be divided as 9 points and 1 point.
- Pros: Students feel like they get a say. Cons: Some students will grade based on personal relationship, not actual effort (most of my students seem to be honest when filling these out).
- Divide the work. I am not a huge fan of this with most projects, but with some projects it works well (and lends itself to differentiation).
- For example, if the students are working on an essay together make one student in charge of the First Body Paragraph, another the Second Body Paragraph, and the third the Last Body paragraph.
- I am not a huge fan of this as I think that part of the joy (and horror) of working in a group is that you get to use the weaknesses and strengths of other members to work TOGETHER in a finished product. However, sometimes this works well.
- Assess what you see
- Sometimes I have my groups work during class. At this point I literally assess what I see.
- One student is writing, another is researching and a third is working on math homework... the math homework one won't receive the same grade as the others.
- Have students use something like primary pad and you can track who is typing what.
- Some students perceive this as unfair because group-work is more than what is done in class or on the computer (which is true).
- Just give one grade
- Don't grade based on the effort or work done by individuals students, just grade the finished product and let everyone have the same grade.
- If a team builds something assess purely the end result and have all members get the same grade.
- Many students protest this because it doesn't reflect the effort and time they put into it. It is however very similar to many real life situations.
|Portion of a sample rubric|
|A confession bear meme describing what many students feel|