This is the 3rd post in a series titled ‘All Things Group Work’. The home page is here.
In the last post, I discussed the need to develop students’ metacognition of group work so it can augment the development of specific skills necessary for successful group work participation. Once achieved, the next step is to help students develop skills in being able to evaluate their peers in group tasks, and this will involve assisting the students to read a rubric (part 1) and also write effective constructive feedback (part 2).
Reading the rubric
The selection of criteria for a group member evaluation (GME) rubric is likely to be motivated by the graduate attributes of teamwork, communication, career readiness, and self-awareness /emotional intelligence.
The image below, designed by Rebecca Smith at the University of Adelaide, highlights a range of possible variations on each of the central themes above. The rationales governing specific criteria is explained in detail here, as well as other practical considerations you should be aware of when designing a GME task.
But once created, it will be necessary that you take students through what each criterion is designed to do. Boud and Dawson (2021), in their paper titled ‘What feedback literate teachers do’, highlight that framing feedback information in relation to standards and criteria and taking the time to explain to students how these standards (aka rubric) will be used to provide feedback is considered to be best practice. But what this also achieves is that students are now able to all be in agreement and have a total understanding of what the baseline is for measuring the skills; despite some criteria being self-explanatory, others may be open to interpretation. To further strengthen student understanding of the criteria, demonstrate what it means to either meet or not meet the expectations via examples.
GME and technology
GME is greatly assisted when carried out using technology, and many Universities have a group member evaluation tool. The University of Adelaide uses a GME tool from the suite of tools offered by Feedback Fruits. Usually reserved for summative assessment, the tool is easy enough to use for formative tasks in tutorials, and the added bonus of this is that students become familiar with the tool before the summative demand, thus reducing cognitive overload during that time.
In the next post, I will discuss how to teach students to write effective constructive feedback.
David Boud & Phillip Dawson (2021) What feedback literate teachers do: an empirically-derived competency framework, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2021.1910928