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Assessing Student-Student Collaboration (Promises and Perils of Assigning and Grading Group Work, aka, Cooperative Learning or Cheating?) Karl A. Smith Engineering Education – Purdue University Civil Engineering - University of Minnesota firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.ce.umn.edu/~smith
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Assessing Student-Student Collaboration (Promises and Perils of Assigning and Grading Group Work, aka, Cooperative Learning or Cheating?)
Karl A. Smith
Engineering Education – Purdue University
Civil Engineering - University of Minnesota
Annual Conference on
Case Study Teaching in Science
October 6-7, 2006
Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T., & Smith, K.A. 1998. Cooperative learning returns to college: What evidence is there that it works? Change, 30 (4), 26-35.
• Over 300 Experimental Studies
• First study conducted in 1924
• High Generalizability
• Multiple Outcomes
1. Achievement and retention
2. Critical thinking and higher-level
3. Differentiated views of others
4. Accurate understanding of others' perspectives
5. Liking for classmates and teacher
6. Liking for subject areas
7. Teamwork skills
Springer, L., Stanne, M. E., & Donovan, S. 1999. Effects of small-group learning on undergraduates in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 69(1), 21-52.
Small-group (predominantly cooperative) learning in postsecondary science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET). 383 reports from 1980 or later, 39 of which met the rigorous inclusion criteria for meta-analysis.
The main effect of small-group learning on achievement, persistence, and attitudes among undergraduates in SMET was significant and positive. Mean effect sizes for achievement, persistence, and attitudes were 0.51, 0.46, and 0.55, respectively.
Cooperative Learning is instruction that involves people working in teams to accomplish a common goal, under conditions that involve both positive interdependence (all members must cooperate to complete the task) and individual and group accountability (each member is accountable for the complete final outcome).
•Individual and Group Accountability
•Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction
Chronic cheating is also prevalent
Faculty are reluctant to report cheating
http://www.northwestern.edu/uacc/cai/research/highlights.html (accessed 9/1/03)
New research on academic integrity: The success of "modified" honor codes. COLLEGE ADMINISTRATION PUBLICATIONS, INC. http://www.collegepubs.com/ref/SFX000515.shtml (accessed 9/1/03)
On written assignments
What role does/can cooperative learning play?
Refer explicitly to the policy on Scholastic Conduct
Be very explicit about telling students when and how they are expected to cooperate and when they are to work individually
The principles of truth and honesty are fundamental to the educational process and the academic integrity of the University; therefore, no student shall:
1.01 claim or submit the academic work of another as one's own.
1.02 procure, provide, accept or use any materials containing questions or answers to any examination or assignment without proper authorization.
1.03 complete or attempt to complete any assignment or examination for another individual without proper authorization.
1.04 allow any examination or assignment to be completed for oneself, in part or in total, by another without proper authorization.
1.05 alter, tamper with, appropriate, destroy or otherwise interfere with the research, resources, or other academic work of another person.
1.06 fabricate or falsify data or results. to work individually
MSU Spartan Life: 2003-2004 Student Handbook and Resource Guide, p. 77
I have neither given nor received aid on this
(University of Virginia)
The Honor System is an integral part of the University of Virginia. The essence of the system is that a student's word as a member of the University can be accepted without question and that any violation of a student's word is an offense against the entire student body. Course instructors will indicate which assignments are to be done individually and which permit collaboration. The following pledge should be written out at the end of all quizzes and examinations and on individual assignments and papers: "On my honor as a student I have neither given nor received aid on this assignment/exam." The pledge must be signed by the student. The University Honor Committee enforces the honor system. Students who violate the honor code are expelled from the University.
I recognize academic integrity as essential to the University of Minnesota’s and its students’ equitable and uncompromised pursuit of their joint endeavors. As a student I promise to practice it to the best of my ability and to do nothing that would give me unfair advantage at the expense of my fellow students. If I cheat in spite of making this declaration, I expect to be penalized according to the offense, up to and including notation of cheating recorded on my transcript and permanent expulsion from the University of Minnesota.
http://www1.umn.edu/usenate/reports/saicrept.html (accessed 4/25/00)
Formal Cooperative Learning
1. Specifying Objectives
2. Making Decisions
3. Explaining Task, Positive Interdependence, and Individual Accountability
4. Monitoring and Intervening to Teach Skills
5. Evaluating Students' Achievement and Group Effectiveness
Less Structured (Traditional)
More Structured (Cooperative)
Low interdependence. Members take
High positive interdependence. Members
responsibility only for self. Focus is on
are responsible for own and each other’s
individual performance only.
learning. Focus is on joint performance.
Individual accountability only
Both group and individual accountability.
Members hold self and others accountable
for high quality work.
Assignments are discussed with little
Members promote each other’s success.
commitment to each other’s learning.
They do real work together and help and
support each other’s efforts to learn.
Teamwork skills are ignored. Leader is
Teamwork skills are emphasized. Members
appointed to direct members’ participation.
are taught and expected to use social skills.
All members share leadership
No group processing of the quality of its
Group processes quality of work and how
work. Individual accomplishments are
effectively members are working together.
Continuous improvement is emphasized.
Continuous improvement is emphasized.
DON'T give group grades until you
and the students are ready
Rule: No student's grade should be lower because of cooperative learning. Evaluation for learning should be individual until you and the students are ready for group grades. Explore alternatives to giving group grades for group work.
MSU Student Group Work Guidelines
Cooperative learning: Making Agroupwork@ work -Karl Smith
Grading cooperative projects - Karl Smith