A team is a small group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.1 Although student teams may not satisfy all the requirements of the definition, the degree to which they do often determines their effectiveness.
Instructors who use teams commonly assign projects or other tasks to teams outside of class. In Foundation Coalition (FC) workshops on teams, one of the more frequently asked questions about teams is how team assignments can be graded. One approach to grading team assignments is to give the same grade to every team member. However, giving every individual the same grade for a team assignment runs counter to the principle of individual accountability in cooperative learning. Further, it may reward and even encourage "hitchhiking" by some members of a team. However, determining individual grades for work products submitted by a team is a challenging task. One approach to obtain information that may be helpful in determining individual grades is peer assessment. To help faculty members in using peer assessment and/or peer evaluation in their classes, the following issues are addressed: