How Can Teachers Implement A Collaborative Assessment?

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In the 21st century workplace, the collaborative system of learning is being promoted and implemented on a large scale. Very few professions and work environments focus only on individual competencies. Most modern work environments involve some type of collaboration or connected problem-solving to enhance their companies or products. Teachers encourage the use of web tools such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Flickr, to connect professionally. These tools help students connect remotely with educators all over the globe.

Collaborative assessment is a key part of the learning process. When teachers use these assessments to grade students they are not only benefiting students, but themselves as well. Collaborative methods of learning have a purpose. One of the best ways to foster collaborative assessment in a school is to ensure administrators and faculty, model various types of collaboration. It is also important to extend this to students with special needs. With supportive staff and a flexible system of learning that focuses on individual performance, students who have difficulty learning or have special needs can be accommodated in a regular classroom.

Approaches to Assessment

Techniques available for assessing collaborative learning groups include:

  • Teacher observations during group work.
  • Group grading for projects.
  • Students grading each other or evaluating the level of contribution made by each member of a group project.
  • Use of retake tests after receiving extra help from groups or the teacher.
  • Use of individual quizzes, exams or assignments.

Criteria for the assessment of group work can be determined by staff, students, or both. Groups are most successful when students are involved in establishing their own criteria for assessment. These criteria are then used to assess and grade the group work.

1. Teacher Assessment

Evaluation by the teacher provides students with feedback on the understanding of content, concepts, and applications. It is the most traditional of all formats and typically is the primary basis for evaluation. When assessing collaborative projects, teachers must provide students with timely feedback using an explicit, fair, and systematic process.

2. Individual/Self-Assessment

When assessing themselves, students can develop a better understanding of their learning process. This enhances future learning, through active reflection on their achievements. These assessments also help build writing and speaking skills as students demonstrate knowledge of the subject, problem solving skills, and contributions to group processing.

3. Peers

Students will enjoy looking at the work of their peers and assessing it. Giving group members this opportunity provides important feedback on the relative merits of contributions and promotes collaboration as students realize their accountability to the group. Initially, students review and comment on materials written by their peers. Technological tools can be used in addition to traditional ways to facilitate the process. Students can write and review the writings of their peers online. Peer review assignments can be developed for individual communication exchanges or collaborative team projects.

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