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Many courses use collaborative projects throughout the semester which culminate with a large end of semester deliverable (oral presentation, written report, etc).  Evaluation of the deliverable and each students contribution can be difficult.  The Center for Faculty Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests weighted peer evaluation as a method for deriving grades for collaborative work.  This process involves an initial grade for the group deliverable by the instructor followed by a peer evaluation process where the instructor:

  1. Obtains peer ratings for each group members contribution
  2. Determines a weighting factor for each of individual in the group
  3. Assigns individual grades based on the group rating adjusted by the individual weighting factor

Overall, this process allows consideration of the quality of the group assignment and the individual contribution from each student.  As with any peer evaluations, it is beneficial to ask for feedback on the functionality of a group early on – any conflicts within the group can be addressed before the final peer evaluation to help avoid ratings that are reflective of personal relationships and not individual contributions to the group assignment.

The details of this specific approach are outlined in:

For your Consideration… Suggestions and Reflections on Teaching and Learning April 2012.  Evaluating Collaborative Coursework” Center for Faculty Excellence, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

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