Group assessments are harder than normal assessments because it’s no longer ‘your’ (singular) work, it’s ‘your’ (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, I’ve always preferred the first system. My line of thought was, “Well, that’s good because so-and-so has not done a thing! And such-and-such hasn’t even been here!” 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 “Whole Group Mark” Marking System
Each teacher will have their own criteria, but I’m going off what I do know and remember. Traces of the ‘individual’ mark will influence your group’s final mark and it usually comes from what is called the ‘Peer Evaluation Sheet’. Sure, you might have a say on your final group mark, but at least you get to voice your observations of your group. Now I’m not saying that this is one of those things where you give your group-mate/s you don’t like or you think are lazy a really low mark, but you note down –truthfully – what each member has contributed. The next thing is called the ‘Self-Evaluation Sheet’ where you get a say on how well you think you’ve contributed to the group. Just like the previous sheet, it’s not about making yourself look good, it’s about really looking at how well you’ve worked on the project. As a whole, you have to remember that you’re 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 can’t 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 don’t want to work with always ruins group assignments. So if you’re put in a group you don’t want to be in, suck it up and do the work you’ve 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 don’t, make sure everyone is doing something. Write down who’s in charge of a particular section and what they have to do – 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 other’s back. This is why I started with putting disputes aside. You have to be sure you’re willing to remind one another about what needs to be done – remember it’s not your own work, it’s everyone’s work.
4. Do the project TOGETHER: Most people think that collaboration part of the project can be done by one person. You’ll find, it’s easier and better to do the collaboration together – that way everyone gets a say and everyone gets to see what everyone else has done. The more things you do together the better you’ll work together and the better you’re mark will be. So talk together; organise going to each other’s houses; actually buy things for the project together; don’t be afraid to have fun together.
5. Be CONCIDERATE: Always think about others. If you don’t show up, let another person in your group know why. If another person doesn’t do their part, talk to them about it – encourage them to put the effort in. If they still aren’t 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)