By: George Gregg
Do you assign group presentations or team reports as part of your classes? Such assignments can be very helpful in developing key teamwork skills that are important student learning outcomes. However, research has shown that student self-regulation is not always well developed and most will need some training in the meta-skills that lead to good teamwork.
In the Chemistry department, we introduce second semester General Chemistry lab students to group reports, requiring significant out-of-class teamwork. I have developed a “Teamwork Self-Assessment” to help focus them on the meta-skills and expectations that are critical to good teamwork, but that might not be explicitly mentioned, otherwise. Additionally, because it is a shared, group self-assessment, the instrument encourages team members to begin the more advanced dialogue (at the “meta-level”) of constructively critiquing of the team’s effectiveness.
The assessment form is one page, and I make it available to my students through Canvas. The single page is completed by all team members and handed in stapled to their group lab reports. The assessment is not graded, unless they don’t turn it in at all. It has been helpful to identify potential team problems and address them before they become major issues. In the four semesters I have used it, I have found a significant reduction in complaints about team dysfunction. The need for an intervention to correct severe problems (e.g., students not communicating reliably, or students not carrying their weight in the assignment) has become almost eliminated.
The one-page Team Self-Assessment instrument is included below for download. Please feel free to use or adapt it as you wish. I’d be very grateful for any suggestions for improvements, too (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Click to download the self-assessment: Team Self-Assessment Instrument
Good luck and happy team-building!