Photo of hand holding a camera lens in front of a view of mountains and lake. With text overlaid: "Of all the variables on the list, I would argue that the most important one for instructors and researchers is the objective."

A Typology of Peer Assessment

One of the hallmarks of many group projects is the incorporation of peer assessment into the project grade. This strategy is often used to try to reduce the potential for inequity when individual members of groups share a common grade….

Group of three students work together around a computer. A quote is overlaid: "If the rationale behind assigning a collaborative project is that you want to take advantage of the potential learning benefits associated with cooperative learning, then the assignment is to some extent a means, not an end."

The Problem with Assessing Groups

One of the challenges an instructor faces when developing any collaborative project is how to assess learning. When multiple students work together to create some product, it’s not necessarily the case that the final product reflects the learning of all…

Collaboration and Memory

When Does Collaboration Hurt Memory?

Take six people and give them all a list of words to commit to memory individually. Next, have three of those people work as a group to recall as many words as they can. Have the other three people try…

Do Cohesive Groups Matter?

In previous posts (here and here), I’ve been writing about the different ways that groups can be created for class projects, and whether the method of group assignment has an impact on learning. In this post, I want to focus on one…

Are Group Assignments a Waste of Time?

Are group assignments effective pedagogy or a waste of time? This is the question asked by researcher Michael Thom (2020) in his recent paper examining the scholarship on collaborative pedagogy. To be clear, I’m being literal here. The title of…

Collaborative Projects and Assignments

The high-impact educational practice (HIP) that I’m studying and writing about for the next two years is “collaborative projects and assignments.” Part of the reason that I selected this topic was because it was one of the only HIPs out…

What even is a HIP?

(Understanding HIPs through a Theoretical Model – Part 2) In my previous post, I started deconstructing the idea of high impact practices (HIPs), with the goal of articulating a definition that would be useful to researchers and teachers. To do…