It is recommended to assess process rather than focus only on the final product of group projects. This can be done using tracking tools that provide insight on who contributed to what and how the final product was developed. Some ideas on process evaluation are:
* At the end of each month, week, unit, the students present what they have learned. Evaluation can be done by classmates.
* Create cognitive maps of the nodes they find most useful. Ask the students to provide an explanation of how the nodes contributed to their understanding of the topic.
* Have students explain what they have learned from each other.
so I think the most important part of the assessment will be whether the learner in question has collaborated, has participated has ENGAGED with the material and with other participants of the course.
So any good qualitative assessment model requires some mechanism (preferably people based) that filters participation for good faith.
Assessment of each other becomes intrinsic in the community learning process. Like open source software communities, the participants in a learning group provide feedback to each other, reviewing and improving each others’ work. Peers in the course will assess each others work, and P2PU online certificates will be offered to signal that you’ve completed a course. At some point one could imagine that a certificate from P2PU would be meaningful in itself.
This paper discusses some of the issues of peer assessment and reports on the alignment of teaching and assessment method (peer assessment) in an online learning environment to foster the development of a range of desired skills set and capabilities – critical thinking, ability to analyze and synthesize information, problem solve, assessing and giving feedback, make value judgment and reflection. In addition, it details how this method of assessment can be employed to meet the requirements of reliability, validity and fairness of formal assessment but more importantly reduce assessment load for both the learners and tutor/facilitator.
Now, if we add the rapidly changing knowledge/skill landscape, employers are likely to be looking for adaptability. There obviously needs to be a knowledge baseline, and the ability to collaborate with co-workers, but after that the workers ability to extrapolate into the future will be key. The portfolio is a perfect way to “WOW” a potential employer and demonstrate competence and adaptability in an ever-changing knowledge landscape while a paper credential is more a sign of mastering a static knowledge peak.
At the end of the course the group members each create their own personal portfolios in which they compile their best pieces of writing (or those that received positive feedback). They also leave testimonials for each other describing not only each other’s mastery of the subject but also reflections on the experience of working together. In addition, a number of metrics are calculated automatically and included in the portfolio, such as the number of bookmarks that were stored, the number of ratings left, and the average rating received for their own work. There are also indicators of their level of engagement with the group and the particular roles they took on during the process, such as problem solving and peer review roles.
To guide the students in gathering and organizing their thoughts and information, the author also provided the following prompts:
* How do you think your contributions helped others to understand the topics under discussion?
* Did others refer to your postings? How did your classmates’ input help you deepen your understanding of the issues discussed in the online forum?
* What did you learn after looking back at the discussions following your own postings?
* What more do you need to do to increase your performance and impact in the online forum?