Assessing Individual and Group Learning in Projects

student teamworkStudents, teachers, and parents commonly question how individual students will be assessed during project based teaching. In her book Project Based Teaching: How to Create Rigorous and Engaging Learning Experiences, author Suzie Boss shares the following suggestions related to assessing individuals and groups throughout the project period (pp. 116-118):

  1. Clarify which components are assessed at the individual level and which components are assessed at the group level. Make these determinations as you plan your projects, and communicate with students. Give individual assignments greater weight that group tasks.
  2. Reinforce peer accountability. Use team contracts to identify roles and responsibilities, and use those contracts to empower student-to-student accountability. Provide opportunities for students to assess everyone’s contributions to the team. Make sure students know from the very beginning of the project that they will be asked to assess the work of every team member.
  3. Encourage reflection about teamwork. Throughout the project, ask students to journal or share about how things are going. This will allow you to “see” inside the team and make adjustments as needed.

As you prepare for upcoming projects, plan for assessment of individual student learning and group work. Share your thoughts with students even as you plan and ask them for feedback. Your overall assessment system will be richer, and your students will benefit greatly!

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