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As a faculty developer here at Old Dominion University, I've been promoting the use of group activities in the classroom and online. Research is supporting that students learn and retain more when the activities are relevant and when they are learning 'hands on.'  I've had some success in winning faculty over, but what I am finding is that my faculty are not really 'savvy' in the creation of the collaborative activities. I work with them to link the activities to their learning outcomes, but this hasn't been easy for them. On top of this, they are having real issues 'managing' the groups. I've read about peer evaluation of groups and have personally found this to work well. I worked with one particular professor in the creation of an online peer evaluation. He used it with some success. He had been having students evaluate each other while in their groups and in the classroom. He told me that all the students felt pressured to give good evaluations to those in their group. Putting the evaluation online did result in more candid responses. It wasn't the perfect solution, however. He told me; "The problem is that it took me several hours to read all the results and I had to print and trash a lot of papers. If you could create a matrix web page where students (and professors) can input (and read) the results in one page that would work better. Basically each student would write the names of his/her colleagues in the column and answer each of the assessment questions in the rows." Has anyone out there created something like this and used it? I'm thinking that perhaps an online PDF with fields... however, that would still result in a lot of reading. I'm interested in any ideas you may have to make group assessment easier. And also, if you have handled groups in another way, I'd be interested in hearing from you!!!



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Have you tried creating a form in Google Docs? You can make it public or share it with your users only. It puts all results into a spreadsheet, and you can also ask it to "Show Summary" which graphs any numeric answers for you. My 7/8th graders really enjoy using this! Example of how to create it here: http://www.mattsilverman.com/2008/10/introduction-to-google-forms.html Sorry if this wasn't what you are looking for.

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