Monday, 19 April 2021

Apps for student teams

When running teams of student teams for project work, having an EASY method for students to evaluate each other, and for the lecturer or supervisor to easily obtain those ratings, makes the process much simpler and less time consuming. 

Not only does a simple evaluation system used during the process help the evaluation, it also helps the team in working together. Review questions repeated as the assessment process continues reminds everyone of the team and teamwork goals, and what the outcomes of the working together is to achieve.

I have a professional SurveyMonkey account, and I have used that for students to bank their team feedback, and hadn't considered using anything else. However, there was a recent thread from the Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division (2021), where members proposed three other team evaluation models, which I thought I would share. They are:

  • CATME: Created by Purdue university, this product has a lot of users (1.5m students at over 2,400 institutions globally, according to Purdue's info). The product uses self-rating, peer-rating and group-rating surveys to assess and to boost student groups function; provides teamwork training tools; flags teams in trouble; has practice surveys for groups to get started. There is a web platform, and separate instructor and team log ins. Students can be pre-assessed using the Big 5, allowing better team construction from the outset. Check out instructor videos here, and student videos here. A basic licence for up to 100 unique users is USD$100 and lasts for 12 months, running from 01 July to 30 June annually. Potential cons: paid product; the product looks a bit dated; and the annual licence may not include the Big 5 assessments (the materials made it hard to tell).

  • TEAMMATES: this is an app developed by the computer department at the National University of Singapore. Students do not have to login to use the product. Like CATME, this product uses self-rating, peer-rating and group-rating surveys to assess and to boost student groups function and provides teamwork training tools. However, TEAMMATES also allows a lot of flexibility in how to set up who sees what, and has multiple ways to set up surveys. Data is downloadable. The product looks fresh. To sign up, go here and click the green button, "Request a Free Instructor Account" on the lower right. Take a video tour here. TEAMMATES is free. 

  • ITP Metrics: created at the University of Calgary by Dr. Tom O’Neill, ITP Metrics is another web-based teamwork and behavioural assessment tool. It was designed to improve classroom team dynamics. This product has self-rating, peer-rating and group-rating surveys to assess and to boost student groups function and provides teamwork training tools. Like CATME it uses the Big 5 to assess personality, but it also provides conflict tools, which is useful. Review how the assessments work here. There is an EdTech podcast interviewing Tom O'Neill exploring the product here. Like TEAMMATES it looks fresh. Like TEAMMATES it is free. 

It is great to have so many educators willing to create these great tools that make teaching easier: and I would never have known if I hadn't stopped to read that thread (Academy of Management, 2021). I am seriously considering using one of these products when I next run group assignments. 

If you use any of these options, I would love to hear back from you!



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