Assessment in Cooperative Learning
George M. Jacobs [+]
Educational consultant, Singapore
Anita Lie [+]
Widya Mandala Surabaya Catholic University, Indonesia
Siti Mina Tamah [+]
Widya Mandala Surabaya Catholic University, Indonesia.
If you are like us, the authors of this book, you love to teach, but when it comes to assessment, such as marking homework or tests, your enthusiasm shines significantly less brightly. However, when we stop to think about it, assessment is something we all do so often in so many other parts of our lives. For instance, when we wake up, we assess how well we slept the night before and whether we might want to try to grab another five minutes of shut eye. When we do get out of bed, as we prepare breakfast for ourselves and our families, we assess the quantity, nutrition, and taste of the food we are preparing. After we bathe, we have more assessment tasks, as we use our knowledge of the likely weather, where we are likely to be later that day, with who, doing what to select what to wear and what to bring along with us when we leave home. Finally, when the day nears an end, maybe about 15 hours later, and we are looking for something relaxing to read, play, or watch, the internet provides so many options for us to assess before making a choice and then, five minutes later, upon further assessment, maybe changing our choice. Thus, assessment in non-academic aspects of our lives is an inescapable and sometimes even enjoyable activity. We do not expect that this chapter will convince you to enjoy the academic assessment you do, but we do hope that discussing and reflecting on assessment will make you feel a bit more positive toward this vital element of education. It worked for us. This chapter considers a number of questions about assessment generally, as well as questions about assessment when cooperative learning takes place. Three points that we find to be of particular value concern frequent assessment aided by the fact that in cooperative learning, students are available to aid teachers in assessing peers and themselves; ipsative assessment, in which students compare their current performance with their previous work; and combination grades, in which groupmates’ results and evaluations impact one another’s grades.