Announce a group work project to your class and you’re sure to get a few groans.  We have all been in a group and usually it is one person who does most of the work.  As a teacher, how do you ensure that work is done equally?

There is no guarantee, but here are some suggestions for group work.

  • Have group turn in a paper detailing what each group member is responsible for.
  • Consider having the students create a rubric for each position.  You can make the rubrics, but students will connect more with the desired outcomes if they do it themselves.  Not a blank group rubric, but a different and specific rubric for each role.
  • Have the group members evaluate each other against the rubric.
  • Use Google Docs and Sites.  Not only can the students truly collaborate, but the revision history allows the teacher to see what each student contributed.

Revision History in Google Docs and Sites

Under the file menu in Google Docs is the option for “See Revision History.”  By choosing this option one is able to see who contributed what and when.   This can allow the teacher to evaluate how students worked together, how much each student contributed and what they contributed.  The revision history color codes the contributions.