Group assessments are harder than normal assessments because itâs no longer âyourâ (singular) work, itâs âyourâ (plural) work. Most of the time, teachers will have TWO marking systems: 1) Group and Individual Mark or 2) Whole Group Mark. In the past, Iâve always preferred the first system. My line of thought was, âWell, thatâs good because so-and-so has not done a thing! And such-and-such hasnât even been here!â My train of thought is exactly why most teachers prefer the first system too. But what happens when they decide to use the second system?
The âWhole Group Markâ Marking System
Each teacher will have their own criteria, but Iâm going off what I do know and remember. Traces of the âindividualâ mark will influence your groupâs final mark and it usually comes from what is called the âPeer Evaluation Sheetâ. Sure, you might have a say on your final group mark, but at least you get to voice your observations of your group. Now Iâm not saying that this is one of those things where you give your group-mate/s you donât like or you think are lazy a really low mark, but you note down âtruthfully â what each member has contributed. The next thing is called the âSelf-Evaluation Sheetâ where you get a say on how well you think youâve contributed to the group. Just like the previous sheet, itâs not about making yourself look good, itâs about really looking at how well youâve worked on the project. As a whole, you have to remember that youâre not being marked on your own, this is a group effort and you need all the help you can get. If someone is not pulling their weight the entire group suffers. Generally speaking, you canât assume someone will always pick-up your slack.
Tips on Working as a Team
1. Put personal disputes ASIDE: I find that working with people you donât want to work with always ruins group assignments. So if youâre put in a group you donât want to be in, suck it up and do the work youâve been given. Remember, this task is not about you.
2. Always be sure to have ROLES: Most teachers will tell you to allocate roles to each person in a group anyway, but if they donât, make sure everyone is doing something. Write down whoâs in charge of a particular section and what they have to do â always have someone who knows what everyone is doing, that way no one can lose tract on what they have to do.
3. Keep each other ACCOUNTABLE: This mean always having each otherâs back. This is why I started with putting disputes aside. You have to be sure youâre willing to remind one another about what needs to be done â remember itâs not your own work, itâs everyoneâs work.
4. Do the project TOGETHER: Most people think that collaboration part of the project can be done by one person. Youâll find, itâs easier and better to do the collaboration together â that way everyone gets a say and everyone gets to see what everyone else has done. The more things you do together the better youâll work together and the better youâre mark will be. So talk together; organise going to each otherâs houses; actually buy things for the project together; donât be afraid to have fun together.
5. Be CONCIDERATE: Always think about others. If you donât show up, let another person in your group know why. If another person doesnât do their part, talk to them about it â encourage them to put the effort in. If they still arenât doing anything, then tell your teacher. But always think about other people first.
Working in a group it not tedious, I find that it can be a lot of fun. Working in a group also means you have a shared workload, meaning everyone should put in 100% to get 100%. Believe me, getting marked as a group instead of individuals in a and as a group can be harder, but it just pushes you to work harder together and really drives you to work well together.
- Anvie (S4S Coaching)
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