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How do I get started using cooperative and collaborative groups?
What are the most effective small groups I can use for different learning objectives?
What are some challenges I might face?
How do I assess students' progress?
How can small-group projects involve parents and the community?
How can technology be used with cooperative and collaborative learning?

How do I assess students' progress?

Rubrics 1 created in the process of designing tasks can help you assess students' progress. These include clear directions regarding what is expected for high marks on a project. Assessment is built into the design of the questions and the group projects. Also, once you have created trusting collaborative groups you can incorporate peer assessments into your grading system.


For examples of rubrics, see the Inuit Peoples lesson plan and Water in Your Community: Drought! lesson plan in the "Demonstration" section. Also, here is a step-by-step formula for creating rubrics:

. Determine how an "expert" would perform in the situation. List the knowledge, skills, or dispositions an "expert" might have.
. Examine work that students have completed to see the range of possible answers and responses.


Kindergarten teacher Michael Beason in Apoka, Florida, explains how just watching groups in action can be an assessment tool.

. Identify the observable differences between "excellent/expert" and "poor/novice" performance.
. Turn the "good" and "poor" performance into a range of possible performances.
. Try to assess students with the range of performances you identify.
. Revise criteria as needed.

Collaborative and cooperative learning can also lead to study guides that help students perform well on standardized or other tests in the subject areas they are studying.

You can also gather a great deal of insight about how well students are learning in their groups simply by watching them in action.

Workshop: Cooperative and Collaborative Learning
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation | Get Credit

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