Event Title

Evaluating Individual Contributions to Team Projects

Presenter Information

George R. Hess
Gary Blank
Shari Rodriguez

Location

Green and Gold Room

Event Website

http://uenr.warnercnr.colostate.edu/

Start Date

3-23-2012 2:30 PM

End Date

3-23-2012 3:00 PM

Description

Faculty who assign team projects face decisions about their evaluation and the assignment of grades to individual students. Do they give everyone on the team the same grade or do they concern themselves with individual contributions? Do they try to ferret out free riders, parasites, and leeches and adjust their grades accordingly? Once faculty members decide to adjust project grades for individual contributions, how should they collect the information needed to make those adjustments? We raised these issues with seven undergraduate students during a teamwork bootcamp and showed them four different instruments NC State instructors have used to evaluate individual contributions. We were surprised by their reaction – our overall impression was they felt it didn’t matter. Although they expressed concerns about unequal contribution the students generally saw this as “the way things are” and wondered why professors were concerned about incorporating this into grades. After discussion, they felt that (1) evaluating individual contributions was worth the effort only for complex, long-duration team projects that made up a substantial portion of the overall course grade, (2) any evaluation instrument should be as simple as possible, and (3) adjustments for individual contribution should not be overly punitive or beneficial. We will host a 90-minute discussion of this issue, asking participants to do some work before coming to the session. We will ask participating faculty to do the following before attending: (1) discuss the issue with their students during class, (2) send us any instruments they already use to evaluate individual contributions (by 29 February) so that we can post them on a website, and (3) review instruments posted. During the session we will present a synthesis of these contributions and literature on the subject, and facilitate discussion leading to guidelines that will help faculty decide when and how to evaluate individual contributions to team products. If there is sufficient interest, we will collaborate with participants to publish our findings and guidelines after the conference.

Comments

Citation: Hess, GR, Blank,G, Rodriguez, S. 2012. Evaluating Individual Contributions to Team Projects. UENR 9th Biennial Conference. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/11/

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Mar 23rd, 2:30 PM Mar 23rd, 3:00 PM

Evaluating Individual Contributions to Team Projects

Green and Gold Room

Faculty who assign team projects face decisions about their evaluation and the assignment of grades to individual students. Do they give everyone on the team the same grade or do they concern themselves with individual contributions? Do they try to ferret out free riders, parasites, and leeches and adjust their grades accordingly? Once faculty members decide to adjust project grades for individual contributions, how should they collect the information needed to make those adjustments? We raised these issues with seven undergraduate students during a teamwork bootcamp and showed them four different instruments NC State instructors have used to evaluate individual contributions. We were surprised by their reaction – our overall impression was they felt it didn’t matter. Although they expressed concerns about unequal contribution the students generally saw this as “the way things are” and wondered why professors were concerned about incorporating this into grades. After discussion, they felt that (1) evaluating individual contributions was worth the effort only for complex, long-duration team projects that made up a substantial portion of the overall course grade, (2) any evaluation instrument should be as simple as possible, and (3) adjustments for individual contribution should not be overly punitive or beneficial. We will host a 90-minute discussion of this issue, asking participants to do some work before coming to the session. We will ask participating faculty to do the following before attending: (1) discuss the issue with their students during class, (2) send us any instruments they already use to evaluate individual contributions (by 29 February) so that we can post them on a website, and (3) review instruments posted. During the session we will present a synthesis of these contributions and literature on the subject, and facilitate discussion leading to guidelines that will help faculty decide when and how to evaluate individual contributions to team products. If there is sufficient interest, we will collaborate with participants to publish our findings and guidelines after the conference.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/11