My Latest Iteration of Teammate Evaluations

A brief note about end-of-semester teammate evaluations:

I again used Google Forms to distribute a survey for students to evaluate each other’s contributions to team projects, but I changed how I calculated this component of the course grade. Each student had twelve points to distribute across all team members, including themselves. The more valuable a person’s contribution to the team project, the more points that person was supposed to get. People who made equivalent contributions could have been awarded the same number of points, and if a person was judged as having made no contribution at all, he or she could have been given zero points.

When the Google Form closed, I computed an average number of points received for each student. I then divided this mean score by twelve and multiplied it by fifty (the teammate evaluation was worth 50 out of 1,000 points in the course). I used this formula because teams were larger than in previous semesters, and I assumed a few members of each team would do the heavy lifting with the rest doing little or no work. If the resulting number was fifty or higher, a student earned the full fifty points toward his or her course grade. If the result was below ten, the student earned nothing. For any number in between, I rounded to the nearest ten.

This past semester, I had a total of thirty-seven undergraduate students in two courses. Only thirty completed the evaluation. Four of the thirty completed the survey incorrectly — the scores they distributed across team members did not sum to twelve. I deleted their responses, as I had specified in email and in the Google Form’s directions.

In sum, approximately thirty percent of my students did not perform a simple task that could have benefited their own course grades.

As I speculated at the end of the Fall 2020 semester, I was able to label the teammate evaluation as being worth zero points on Canvas. Maybe that partially explains why no students have (so far) complained about this portion of the course grade.

3 Replies to “My Latest Iteration of Teammate Evaluations”

  1. Peer evaluation weightings are great when everything works! A pain when they don’t.

    I tried doing (pooled distribution) peer evaluation weightings with paper forms in class and then with a google spreadsheet (both were far too cumbersome). Eventually, I wrote an app in R-Shiny to do all the calculations for me automatically in the back end. Students can track (and adjust) their progress over time in long-term group projects. It even allows the teams to specify the weightings for the assessment categories (e.g. attitude vs. performance).

    1. Interesting. I did not know about CATME. Does it generate a score on the quality of students’ feedback to teammates that can be used as a grade? My students typically will not complete a task if it does not appear to affect the final course grade.

      If you would like to write a guest post on your experiences using CATME, we’d be happy to publish it on the blog.

      Edited to add: does CATME cost money? I see something about licensing.

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