research & group work

Collaborative Conundrum: What We Know About Group Work and Technology, but Often Forget
Lindsey Schmidt, Timmo Dugdale, Doug Worsham
In today's Web 2.0 world, students and instructors have access to a broad range of collaborative technologies for group projects, but successful group work is not just about the technology. In this session, the presenters used research data and personal experience collected from a yearlong program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on "Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Group Work" to highlight the principles of successful group work.

Group Work and Group Assessment - UTDC Guidelines
University Teaching Development Centre - Victoria University of Wellington
This document provides a broad overview of designing, implementing, and assessing a collaborative project.  The point of view presented for assessing group projects focuses on a blended method, combining evaluation of the final product and collaborative process.  In other words, individual grades are determined by combining the scores of the final product and peer evaluations.  The appendices provide a few examples of peer evaluation forms, which could be modified to fit a specific course or assignment. 

Assessing Group Tasks
Geoff Isaacs
This document provides in depth reasoning for how and when to assess group work.  Embedded in the discussion is a concrete example of the assessment design and implementation process for a robust group task.  The authors point out the importance of aligning course objectives with the group activity and assessment.

"But I did all the work": Effective Group Work and it's Assessment
Michael Abernethy, Rebecca Carlton
This document provides interesting, yet meager, insight into the dynamics of group work by noting the six dimensions of culture (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism, gender, timing, and context) and dividing group members into five personality types (avoiding, obliging, compromising, dominating, and integrating).  Although it does not provide discussion on the process of evaluating group work, it does provide a variety of different worksheets, which could be adopted for peer or self-assessment.

Running Head: Assessment in the Collaborative Classroom
Dana Stairs
This document analyzes the challenges and benefits of collaborative activities and assessment.  A further assessment component this paper references are mid-project peer reviews.  Mid-project peer reviews allow students a chance to modify behaviors that are not meeting group expectations before the final assessment takes place.

Assessing Group Work
Australian University Teaching Commitee - Center for the Study of Higher Education
In this paper the author provides reasons for group work, guidelines for designing an effective group work model, and a variety of group assessment options.  The explanation of each assessment option is brief, but it still provides worthwhile information.

Peer Learning and Assessment
David Boud, Ruth Cohen, Jane Sampson
This article discusses the benefits and challenges of group work in university courses and how to align assessment with the goals and objectives of the course.  The authors note the reasons for peer learning activities, the effects of assessment on learning in general, and why assessment is particularly significant for group activities.

Peer Learning and Learning-Oriented Assessment in Technology Enhanced Environments
Mike Keppell, Eliza Au, Ada Ma, Christine Chan
This paper discusses the importance of learning-oriented assessment for group activities in order to promote collaboration and communication among group members.  Three case studies of group projects and their assessment designs are described.  The examples provide concrete methods on how peer feedback enhances the learning experience and the final product. 

 

Other Readings

Cooperative Learning Methods: A Meta-Analysis
David Johnson, Roger Johnson, Mary Beth Stanne
These authors discuss their comprehensive review of effective achievement in coopererative learning methods used in schools. The review garnered eight cooperative learning methods that foster positive student achievement.

A Rating Scheme for Assessing the Quality of Computer-supported Collaborative Processes
Anne Meier, Hans Spada, Nikol Rummel
This article discusses nine dimensions of collaboration that can help evaluate collaborative efforsts: sustaining mutual understanding, dialogue management, information pooling, reaching consensus, task division, time management, technical coordination, reciprocal interaction, and individual task orientation.

Developing Authority in Student Writing through Written Peer Critique in the Disciplines
Barbara Schneider, Jo-Anne Andre
This article discusses how written peer critique can be used successfully to develop authority in students' writing in the disciplines. Tehy suggest that having students respond to their peers in writing rather than orally and positioning students to write their critiques from a strong knowledge base are key elements in making peer critique valuable to the responder.

Case Studies
Colorado State University
This web site has a great wealth of information on how case studies can be used in collaborative activities.

The Influence of Social Interaction on Knowledge Creation
Alton Chua
This article examines the influence of social interaction on the process of knowledge creation. A study was conducted to determine the relationship between the level of social interaction and the quality of the knowledge created. The findings show a positive correlation between the level of social interaction and the quality of the modules developed.

From Wikipedia to the Classroom
ndrea Forte, Amy Bruckman
This article explores Wikipedia as a new publishing paradigm and how it could be used to engage
students in authentic collaborative writing activities? It looks at how can we design wiki publishing tools
and curricula to support learning among student authors. It suggests that wikis can create learning opportunities that address four dimensions of authenticity: personal, real world, disciplinary, and assessment.

Supporting Knowledge Creation: Using Wikis for Group Collaboration
Kate Watson, Chelsea Harper
This article examines the wiki philosophy and how it fits within the Web 2.0 context. While wikis offer a number of benefits for supporting knowledge creation in collaborative groups, the literature suggests a strong need to establish conventions to enable long-term success. It also examines how wiki technology can enable the online collaborative process.