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How Group Member Evaluation helped develop collaborative learning for trainee teachers at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

Dan Hasan
October 5, 2020
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In this “Collaboration” course for trainee teachers, students work together in groups to develop relevant pedagogical skills. The goal of this program is to give teachers-in-training experiences and activities to be able to better understand their students through a collaborative process.

Teaching teachers requires a different sort of education. Rather than providing content to be understood, teachers must experience the act of learning itself and be able to reflect on it, so they can better assist their students with the learning process. The instructor chose to use the Group Member Evaluation tool as it allows a straightforward overview of how students reflect on and rate each other’s progress throughout the course.

Constructive alignment

Learning objectives

  • Students are able to reflect on their progress within the course by giving, receiving and implementing feedback.

Learning activities

Throughout the course students work with each other on various skills and activities related to collaborative learning and pedagogy. Firstly, student-teacher groups use a digital game, “Team Up”. Team Up is a game in which participants are dropped onto a deserted island and search for the Tree of Life, overcoming various obstacles and challenges. Using their experiences of the game, individual teams create their own set of criteria for success in collaboration. These criteria are used for the rest of the course, allowing students an opportunity to set goals and benchmarks themselves.

Further along during the course students use Group Member Evaluation to give feedback to other members of their group on teamwork skills based on a 3-point rubric. After giving and receiving feedback, students write a short reflection, addressing and substantiating these points in a couple of paragraphs titled, “what I learned”. All of this happens within the platform.

Learning activities, based on the Bloom taxonomy, are mainly at the level of:

  • Evaluate - Students reflect on peer’s feedback comments, giving feedback and reflecting on received feedback

Assessment of learning outcomes

  • To receive a final grade, students must have completed the feedback-giving and reflection steps within the Group Member Evaluation tool.

Notable outcomes

  • Multiple tools were used throughout the course for different purposes - for example purely for feedback, or for handing in a final deliverable. It was important that students knew what was expected of them from each tool to avoid difficulties.
  • All students who participated in the activity gave comments above the minimum requirement.
  • The instructor sees an overview which students have completed which steps in the activity, including whether they have given, received, read, and reflected on feedback. This makes it easier to see if particular students are falling behind or experiencing problems with the activity.
  • The instructor noted that the customisation options within the tool afforded great flexibility for the course.
"I would definitely recommend FeedbackFruits’ Group Member Evaluation tool because it provides such a clear oversight of the development of students’ progress." - Instructor

The role of the instructor

  • The instructor explains to the students which tools will be used for which activities. Then they create the activity, writing an instruction step where students can see what is expected of them, and including a rubric which students reference when giving each other feedback.
  • The instructor follows students’ progress through the activity by making use of the overview within the tool.

Added value of technology

  • Using Group Member Evaluation streamlined the feedback process and replaced the prior method of printing out rubrics and evaluation forms which needed to be filled in by hand.
  • Being able to manually create and maintain groups of students offered flexibility in setting up teams for the

Possible variation

The activity can be turned from formative to a summative by including the “configurable grading” module. This allows the instructor to manually allocate points for completing each step, including for example writing a reflection of a certain length. Using this, a quantitative score can be given to each student based on their performance within the activity.

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