Assessing Group Work

Clarity about the purposes of group work frames how you will assess it. If the purpose is group product, you may not be bothered by how the group came to its final work. If the purpose is group process, you may not be concerned with the product. If your purpose is to assess an individual’s ability to work within or lead a team, other assessment techniques might be best. If assessing a combination of these, then decide how you apportion the grades.

Getting Started

Assessing the product

  • Assessing a group product is much like assessing other student work
  • The faculty or the students can establish the grading criteria and grade each of the group products. The group can get a shared grade, or each individual can get a grade that depends on a specified task.

Assessing the process

  • When assessing group process, you might want students to provide input on ground rules for their group and the particular grading criteria
  • Some criteria might include equal contribution, engagement, ability to listen to others, responsiveness to feedback, being on time to group meetings, completing tasks, cooperating with others

Assigning grades

  • Decide how grades will be assigned, e.g., whether each group get a shared grade, each person get an individual grade, or each group get the average of individual grades
  • Decide whether to give two grades, one for group product and one for group process. Decide what proportion each grade would be worth
  • For assessing an individual’s contribution in a group, you can ask each student to write a reflective piece on the group dynamics, how effectively the group worked together, what could have worked better, and lessons learned.

Starting Somewhere

  • Since group work can be risky and create tensions among group members, you might want to start by having group work count for a small proportion of the overall grade

For more on this topic see Group Work