This group participation rubric is perfect for project-based learning

Finding effective ways to measure learning is a challenge. Figuring out what works is one of the toughest parts of education and it’s no surprise that there are a slew of ideas out there on how to make authentic learning happen. One of those attempts has come in the form of a popular Educause report that goes into a pretty deep dive on major topics like authentic learning and grading. Basically, it wants to help answer the question: how do you know if students are learning? It’ll take more than a quiz and a grade, that’s for sure.
In an effort to come up with a solid answer, the Educause Learning Initiative report (download the PDF here) included a helpful group participation rubric that might go perfectly with project-based learning and many other group-based activities.
The following rubric is designed to be used to better understand (as both a teacher and a student) how much is learned during group work. This means a teacher should closely examine this guide and identify which criteria have been met and how. Then, a student should also take a look and self evaluate to understand how they, well, understand!

Should Group Activities Be Graded?

Typically, teachers don’t want to offer a particular grade to individuals participating in a set of group-based activities. There are a lot of questions asked (from the report):

  • Should all members of the team receive the same final evaluation, or should distinctions be made, and if so, how?
  • Can individual contributions be separated out from the collective performance?
  • And what about variations in critical time management and interpersonal skills?
  • How can an instructor tell whether a student is pulling his own weight or simply going along for the ride?

This rubric serves as a potential solution to the problem and answer to these questions.
It’s one of the best visual guides I’ve come across in recent memory. What would you change? Would you use this tool in your classroom or offer it up to students? Would you make any changes? Share them with the Daily Genius community on the Facebook page or perhaps mention @DailyGenius on Twitter – we’ll retweet and share!
group participation rubric

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1 Comment
  • John Larmer Oct 29,2014 at 10:54 am

    Hey Jeff, Nice post! I didn’t see the “recent report on authentic learning and grading” when I clicked the link – the pdf link below that was a 2008 report, was that it or something different?
    The Buck Institute for Education has also created some rubrics for collaboration in project based learning you can see here:

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