Monday, July 18, 2011

Assessing Collaborative Efforts: Module 3

There are a variety of ways to access learning in a collaborative learning community. It is critical, however, that the student understand what the assessment is and what is expected of them. "Students need a road map not only to guide the activity, but also to know how that activity will be assessed and evaluated" (Palloff & Pratt, 2005). Therefore, before any collaboration assessment is given to students, it is critical to clearly explain to the student the expectations and process of that assessment.

One valuable tools for students is a self-assessment. This is an appropriate tool because it allows the learner, the focus of the course, to provide information about their own perception of their abilities. This assessment may come in many forms such as a reflective writing or essay or it may be done in the form of a portfolio that is provides the highlights of the students work as chosen by the student.

Palloff and Pratt (2005) state, "A simple rule to remember when assessing collaborative work is that collaborative activities are best assessed collaboratively." With this in mind, rubrics that are written for collaborative expectations is preferable. Another method would be to provide students a survey of their perceptions of the workings of the group as a whole.

To ensure fair and equitable assessment, the use of a rubric with clear expectations produces a more objective evaluation of the product.

In order to work with the challenge of a student opposed to working collaboratively, the instructor should being the course with the expectation of collaborative work. Many of these individuals who might balk at the idea of working collaboratively are more willing when the instruction, preparation, and expectations for roles and are clearly laid out. (Pallot and Pratt, 2005, p. 34)

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Comments left for other students in course:
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1 comment:

  1. Carolyn,
    I like your suggested activity of implementing a writing assignment. I use this within my elementary classroom. I am able to assess what my students are actually gaining through reading their journal entries. I feel I can gain insight as to what they are making applicable if they are able to explain in writing.
    I also share your feelings in the importance of a rubric. I am the type of student that tries my best to complete assignments as the instructor wishes. I only run into difficulty when the expectations are not clear or when a team member is falling behind and making it difficult for you to complete your part.