Monday, June 8, 2009

Students say to panel of teachers: "Enough already with the group assignments!"

The Chronicle of Higher Ed is reporting that a group of undergraduate students who spoke at the Sixth Annual Teaching Professor conference in Wisconsin this past weekend had a message for the world's college instructors:  "no more group assignments—at least not until you figure out how to fairly grade each student’s individual contributions."

It's an age old complaint - some participants don't carry their weight.

'Part of the problem is that faculty members themselves often don’t work well in groups, so they don’t understand the dynamics,'said Ms. Weimer, who is editor of The Teaching Professor, the newsletter for which the conference is named.

In a 2004 paper in The Journal of Student Centered Learning, 'Turning Student Groups Into Effective Teams,' four scholars made suggestions about how to avoid the common pitfalls of group projects.

Among other things, the paper advised that students be asked to rate the 'team citizenship' of each member of their group. Those ratings can in turn be used to help determine each student’s individual grade.

 Read the full article here.

I am the scholarship dude.


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