Friday, October 9, 2009

Module 3- Learning Communities

Module 3- Learning Communities

To ensure effective assessment, it must be embedded in and aligned with the design of the course (Palloff & Pratt, 2005). Instructors should create assignments based on the learning objectives of the course. The instructor should incorporate different forms of assessment to meet the needs of every individual within the class setting (differentiated instruction).

Once again, instructors should address all learning styles. Instructors should provide frequent feedback, model or provide training on assessed material. The instructor retain the determination about what to assess, how to assess it, and how to respond to any evaluation material gathered through the reflective material submitted by students (Palloff & Pratt, 2005). Also the instructor should provide a rubric of the assignment that displays the breakdown of the grading scale.

The members should address the issue/s amongst the team. We are all adults and should handle the situation appropriately. Ask the classmate whether he or she is having problems comprehending the material or if he or she is having personal problems. Depending on the answer, the team will determine the next action.

The instructor should supervise the group’s progress and be available to prompt or assist groups that are having difficulty (Palloff & Pratt, 2005). When handling a group with problems, the instructor should allow the group members to handle the problems themselves until the situation goes over board (interventions by the group mates do not work, complete defiance by the troubled group mate, etc.). Suggest that the group explore alternatives and reach consensus (Palloff & Pratt, 2005).

The project should be broken down into equal parts. Depending on the percentage/points for each individual’s grade, the cooperating members should not be penalized. These particular members should get graded based on their parts. If the instructor wants them to complete the entire project, extra time should be granted without being penalized. The uncooperative member should receive credit for any fraction that he or she did.


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


  1. I agree that assessment must be integral to the instructional process. Different activities, different objectives, and different learning styles demand different approaches to assessment. Assessment for instruction is as important as assessment for learning. They are inextricably linked.

    While instructors are ultimately responsible for the tone, tenor, and pace of the course, the students are responsible for achieving a high outcome. It is the marriage between an instructor posing challenges and a student providing a response that provides focus and direction to learning. Assessment is so much more than assigning grades; it is the interaction among members of a learning community that promotes the advancement of knowledge for all.

  2. In your post you state, "The project should be broken down into equal parts. Depending on the percentage/points for each individual’s grade, the cooperating members should not be penalized. These particular members should get graded based on their parts." Who should determine what are "equal parts?" Should the group be able to submit 2/3 of a project? My concern would be that this would undermine the collaboration aspects of a group project and turn it into a collection of 3, independently assembled and graded projects. How would you make sure that this does not happen?


  3. The professor should create the project in mind with what if a problem is encountered? I feel that the project should be created in equal parts so no one person would feel like they are completing the majority of the work.

    Then, each person should either pick a part that the professor offers or should submit to the professor what part each member of the group is completing.

    To avoid having 3 individual projects, the professor should intervene immediately once the groupmates feel that the other member is not complying to the group's requirements.

  4. I believe that breaking a collaborative project down into equal parts to be graded separately would be difficult. It would be more acceptable to work on the project by dividing the parts, but if one member does not come through, then the rest of the team has to rally together to get what needs to be done finished.