Module 3a

Collaborative learning communities can be assessed ongoing formative and summative.  Palloff and Pratt (2005) from Palloff and Pratt (2003) suggest:

  • “Design learner-centered assessments that include self-reflection.”
  • “Design and include grading rubrics to assess contributions to the discussion as for assignments, projects, and the collaboration itself.”
  • “Use assessment techniques that fit the context and align with learning objectives.”

There are other ways such as a portfolio, but an instructor has to take on an active role as a facilitator for an accurate assessment to be done.  Feedback as well from the participants and instructor can take learning one step higher for example our discussion boards.  All of these are ways in which the learner can be assessed for participation.

One way to deal with a student who does not want to participate, “minimize group difficulties, negotiations between team members should occur at the start of any new activity so that members know how each expects to participate, any limitations on participation that may occur preferred styles of communication, conflicting demands, and so forth” (Palloff and Pratt, 2005).  When the expectations are clearly defined there are less chances of that defiant student to not participate.

Siemen (2008) provides valid points on assessment for the students and educators, “Assessment is a teaching-based activity that provides an opportunity to give feedback and evaluate ourselves as educators.” If a student does not want to participate the teacher should reevaluate the beginning guidelines.  The instructor must engage in the learning community to deter the student from becoming the non-participant.


Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: Assessment of collaborative learning. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

comments: Mia’s Blog Tracy’s Blog


3 thoughts on “Module 3a

  1. I neglected to mention rubrics in my own blog post, but I find them to be one of the most valuable tools I have in assessing my own work. Without the rubric, there seems to be too much subjectivity in the grading. I also think that taking a look back at the course guidelines might be called for, particularly if the same issue arises often.


  2. Hello Joy,
    It is crucial that all peers participate. I also think that instructors who facilitate learner-centered classrooms are more likely to encourage students to participate. I think that in a way, instructors set that tone in the classroom. Thanks.


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