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Ensuring Accountability When Grading Group Projects

Found in: grading, pairing & grouping, routines & procedures

I design projects to have group and individual components, for example, a group presentation and an individual paper. Students keep a daily work log in which they describe the work they and each of their group mates do on the project. At the end of the project, students evaluate their group mates, assigning grades based on the contribution of each member, and submit their work log and evaluations. (They are almost always brutally honest.)

I use a rubric to assess the group component for the learning objectives and to provide group accountability. I then add the peer evaluation and my own observations to the group grade so that everyone has an individual grade for the group component.

This gives slackers a slight advantage, but only so far, as the individual component must still be completed. For example:

Paper = 50; Group Presentation = 30; Peer Evaluation = 10; Teacher Evaluation = 10.

The student who does nothing receives no more than 30 points on a 100-point project. I've had no complaints with this, even from students who do most or all of the work.


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