How do you deal with assessment when students do a project together?
Tara, Science in the City: Collaborative learning, as we know, can be hugely beneficial, but have disadvantages as well. We know that students can take advantage of others, intentionally or not intentionally, and may not get the full benefit of the learning experience. However, they can also benefit from learning from each other, and from speaking and listening to the key vocabulary terms and concepts. Additionally, students need to have the chance to learn social skills and to practice positive, productive interactions with peers. The benefits of collaborative learning outweigh the negatives, if used carefully.
Clair, High School English on a Shoestring Budget: The advantage is the ability for students to collaborate. It can cut down on off-topic chatter that interferes with work, while allowing students to learn with and from each other. It can make learning more active and engaging…
Assuming that students are actually working collaboratively. The downside is when group work is uneven in distribution– one or more students doing the work of remaining members. A truly student-led, open collaborative project is almost always, in my experience as student and teacher, going to have at least one student not pulling their weight (which also penalizes the others). I’ve even had students cover for others when each has assigned roles.
Sara, Ms. Fuller’s Teaching Adventures: Students typically groan when I announce that I am having them participate in a group project. However, I get them to be a bit more on board when I explain my reasoning. The truth of the matter is, working collaboratively in groups is a life skill. When thinking about the CCSS we are supposed to make our students College and Career ready. In both environments students must work with others to accomplish tasks. Learning how to successfully navigate group work will make them a more employable and successful person later in life.