Assessing Collaborative Efforts
When looking at how to assess individuals in a collaborative learning community, instructors must find new ways to assess students from traditional methods. Siemens suggests that instructors use one of the four models where students assess their peers, students receive feedback from online communities, educators assess based on student contribution, or educators assess based on metrics from learning management systems (Siemens, 2008). This allows students to be assessed in a fair manner that is tied to stated outcomes. Students should also be assessed in terms of individual growth. According to Siemens (2008), student assessments should be on an individual basis beyond the mark. This shows how students show progression from where they started and end up. This type of assessment also allows instructors to be flexible and be fair and equitable to students individually. Siemens (2008) further states that assessment is not only for the student but it is teaching based that gives the educator feedback and guides for future instruction.
Collaboration in a learning community can sometimes be difficult to achieve. Communication is essential to ensure all members are aware of what role they must play in completing assignments. There are some who prefer to work individually and complete assignments alone. In instances like this, members should consult with the instructor to step in. Palloff and Pratt (2005) state that instructors may need to intervene in cases of under participation to minimize frustration and any conflict. Because of the nature of online courses and the lack of F2F interaction, collaboration and participation are integral components to online learning. As a result, the instructor may assess individuals on their lack of participation.
Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Siemens, G. (2008). Assessment of collaborative learning. Vodocast. Laureate Education, Inc.