Active/Collaborative Learning Student Teams Integrating Technology Effectively Women and Minorities Assessment and Evaluation EC2000 Emerging Technology Foundation Coalition Curricula Concept Inventories
Why is monitoring the progress of student teams important?
When using teams for extended periods, monitoring their effectiveness occasionally is critical. Checking or monitoring, whether each team does it internally (self-monitoring) or the instructor does it externally (instructor monitoring), provides the following benefits:
  • Positive reinforcement, encouragement for successful teams
  • Correction and adjustments, diagnostic help for troubled teams
  • Individual accountability
  • Development of team skills through group processing

Positive Reinforcement Instructor monitoring and self-assessment can motivate teams to be more productive. People and teams work harder when they believe that they are on the right track. Positive evaluation (either by the instructor or by the team itself) can provide this validation.

Correction and Adjustments A negative evaluation that identifies specific problems can allow a team to redirect and reinvigorate its efforts. Karl Smith3 notes that instructors need to systematically observe and collect data on each team as it works so that they can intervene to assist students in completing the task accurately and in working together effectually.

Individual Accountability External challenges are extremely effective for encouraging a team to work more productively. For example, Michaelsen et al.4 point out that the single most powerful force for development of group cohesiveness is the perception of an outside threat to the well-being of the group.

Development of Team Skills in Group Processing One of the five elements of cooperative learning is “group processing,” in which team members set goals, periodically assess what they are doing well as a team, and identify changes they will make to function more effectively.5 Because the ability to perform self-assessment and to use it to improve performance is a critical characteristic of successful teams, students need experience with these activities.

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

References for Further Information

  1. Gagne, R .M., L.J. Bridges, and W. W. Wagne. 1998. Principles of Instructional Design. Orlando, FL: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.
  2. Hanson, G., and B. Price. 1992. Academic Program Review. In: M. A. Wjitley, J. D. Porter, and R. H. Fenske (eds.). The Primer for Institutional Research. Tallahassee: Association for Institutional Research.
  3. Satterly, D. 1989. Assessment in schools. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell Ltd.

Related Links:









Partner Links