One Simple Trick for Grading Group Projects Essay
I love using group projects. Collaboration is increasingly important in our world, and it’s fun to watch students come together and make something greater than they could have individually.
The problem with group projects is assessment. Do you grade the whole project and assign each member the same grade? Or do you look at individual contributions and assign grades based upon participation?
For me it’s a no-brainer. Grade them individually! If you don’t, you’re opening yourself up to the inevitable complaint of it’s not fair. Recently, a friend and fellow teacher received a long, polite, and clearly unhappy letter from a parent, essentially asking why is my child being punished for working with a clearly inferior group?
One simple trick for grading group projects can eliminate those headaches. Have each student fill out a participation form. Here is what I use, more or less:
What grade you deserve and why? Specifically explain what you did to help your group. Include any research and preparation, as well as what you contributed to the final project:
What grade does your group members deserve and why? Specifically explain what you did to help your group. Include any research and preparation, as well as what you contributed to the final project:
This does a few things.
1.) It gives the students a voice in their grade. Even if you and their group don’t agree with their grade, you at least gave them a chance to state their case.
2.) It creates a paper trail in case you do have a parent contact you. Not only can you refer to the student’s own assessment of their effort, you also have the assessment of their group mates.
3.) It makes grading REAL easy. I still give the project a grade. Then I give the student a participation grade equally weighting my assessment, their assessment and their groups assessment. (This takes about 2 minutes per group. If that.)
If their participation grade is an A: The student receives one letter grade more than the project. This rewards the student who may have given his/her all, but their group didn’t follow through. This doesn’t apply if the project received an A.
If their participation grade is a B: They receive the project grade.
If their participation grade is a C: The student receives one letter grade less than the project.
If their participation grade is a D: The student receives two letter grades less than the project.
If their participation grade is a F: The student fails the project.
It’s simple. It’s clean. It’s justifiable. And it’s fair. A teacher, student, parent and teacher can’t ask for more than that.