Sunday, July 17, 2011

Assessing Collaborative Efforts

How students are assessed has changed considerably from the memorization method that has been used in the past.  Siemens mentioned that the growth of collaboration within learning environments cause caused a new need in the area of assessments.  Some suggestions that were made were to create assessments that can be loaded into a peer environment and that  assess each other such as through rating articles.  To assist the evaluator, another method of assessment is encouraging participation in open communities with opportunities for feedback.  Contribution logs through systems such as wikis or learning management systems also provide methods of assessing in a collaborative learning community as well.  Assessments should be fair and direct, based on stated outcomes, and also equitable.  We have moved beyond marked-assessments and student growth is now considered.   

Often students who do not want to collaboration in a learning community have lost  their sense of self and they can often contribute the most.  In these situations, the evaluator must often change the assessment model based on a community type of approach and through the learners working together.  They can also provide experiences for working in a highly functioning learning community.  Blogging provides a “balanced diet” when it comes to addressing these types of learners since it’s an individual action but incorporates the community as a whole.  Another method that evaluators can use is through bringing in individuals from that industry.  Learners within the community can assist as well by ensuring that a high level of trust and connectedness is created and also by allowing those individuals to have external connections to highly knit groups.

Siemens, G. (2008). Assessment of collaborative learning. Vodocast. Laureate Education, Inc.

Siemens, G. (2008). Learning communities. Vodocast. Laureate Education, Inc.


  1. Ashley,

    I liked that you mentioned "external connections". My view on external connections is the individuals getting to know one another outside of the classroom. I have become friends with classmates that I have found on Facebook. I feel that the enternal connections are what is missing from online classes that the traditional class still has to offer. -Belinda V

  2. Ashley,

    I have also been a proponent of grading students' growth throughout a course. The "cradle-to-grave" approach rewards students who are able to better themselves over the duration of the course. However, the biggest criticism of this type of assessment is that it doesn't necessarily hold students accountable for a particular set of objectives. The key is finding a way to reconcile these two forms of assessment.