Evaluating cooperative learning activities may seem like a Herculean task. But, actually it's not.
Like any other assessment, you must determine in advance what you would like to assess and to what degree.
Do you want to evaluate individual success, group success or perhaps, cooperative skills?
Actually, I think you may find that it's useful to evaluate all three. And, there are many ways to assess each of these areas.
I'm relatively sure what you may be thinking here.
We teachers already have full plates--with all of the paperwork, lesson planning, endless paper grading, and the myriad of other things that are demanded of us, we just don't need something else to do.
However, as you know from your own experiences, kids EXPECT to be evaluated. "Do we get a grade for this?"
Pity the poor teacher who would respond to that question with, "No, but this will make great practice."
The kids, of course, would immediately shut down. Nothing would get accomplished, no effort would be put forth, because, "This doesn't count."
What follows on this page is a small collection of assessment tools that can be used for cooperative learning. Several of these assessments are actually completed by the students themselves, thereby relieving you of the additional paperwork required.
I sincerely hope that you will take from this whatever best suits your individual needs.
You may use the following quick links to go directly to what interests
you on this page. You may also scroll down
the page manually if you choose to do so.
While taking a look around online for stuff like this, I found that a lot of what's available does not have spaces for basic information, such as the student's name and the current date.
This one has both.
I think this instrument would be useful for self-reflection as well as something that could be shared with the rest of the group.
As you can see, there is a place for the teacher's comments as well as a box for the teacher's grade.
Both of these, of course, are optional. You may even decide to allow members of the group to function temporarily as "your teacher."
The form shown above is an adaptation of a cooperative learning
evaluation form created by Laura
Candler, used here with the author's
The form below is deliberately set up to be in the form of a set of opinions. The values for the continuum at the top, I think, will be easy for kids to follow.
Plus, it avoids the letter grade aspect associated with other instruments.
As you can see here, I have provided space at the bottom of each column for individual totals. Obviously, the lower each student's total, the better.
With the ongoing budget crisis that so many school districts are facing, a lot of principals are resorting to rationing copy paper.
The following document and its associated two evaluation instruments contains a thin cutline, so they may be used individually or both at once, whichever you prefer.
Again, the Quick Peer Evaluation Form at the top of the document features a continuum with a slightly expanded value scale.
The Group Self Evaluation Checklist at the bottom of this document could be used as a very quick way to do an informal analysis of the entire group's effort.
As you can see, the assessment shown below is in the form of a specific rubric.
Once again, I have included spaces for the basic information at the top as well as spaces for scores on the individual attributes.
I would imagine that you could have the kids complete this, or you may choose to fill it out yourself.
Obviously, it's a group rather than an individual assessment.
The rubric shown below is designed specifically for you, the teacher, to use.
If you choose to use this instrument, I would suggest distributing these to your kids prior to beginning a new group activity for two reasons.
Yes, you want them to know what they're going to be graded on, but you ALSO want them to fill in their names, class period, and date so that you don't have to do it at a later time.
And yes, the rubric shown above has specific spaces for scores for each category as well as an overall total.
Your eyes are not deceiving you here--the rubric below is EXACTLY like the one shown above.
The only difference is that there is a set of directions for students, if you choose to allow them to evaluate the members of their own groups.
You may download the free, 4-page preview of this publication here.
Both of the above versions of this product are PDF publications. As a result, they are completely compatible with both Windows and Mac.
Purchase: Cooperative Learning Packet (Order in the USA)
Purchase: Cooperative Learning Packet (Order outside of the USA)
I am acutely aware that the cooperative learning assessment tools presented on this page just barely scratch the surface of possibilities.
However, if I've left something out that you would like to see included, please tell me about it!
In the meantime, you may also be interested in these other pages regarding cooperative learning:
Thank you so much for your interest, and especially, thanks for all you do for our kids.