This week I had the opportunity to investigate and evaluate assessment tools from the following four categories: quiz & test-builders, collaboration tools, course tracking tools, and Web 2.0 assessment tools, via a group jigsaw project. Although I was only responsible for evaluating one tool, I’ve learned an awful lot about the tools our team members chose through the collaborative editing and unifying process. Our final project is in the form of a wiki: http://assessmenttoolssu2012.wikispaces.com/.
Included in the wiki is a concept map which I hope to expand upon by incorporating the research of the entire class (with permission, of course). Additionally, I’d like to find time to investigate suggested tools that were not evaluated by classmates.
This jigsaw project gave me a new perspective of and appreciation for collaboration, particularly online collaboration with a final product as the learning goal. I found it interesting that despite the fact that the collaboration occurred online, the roles that group members assumed were the same as if the collaboration had occurred in a face-to-face environment. I suppose, then, that the role one plays in a group is determined more by ones personality traits, than by the constructs of the learning situation. The fact that we teamed online exaggerated our diversity, particularly in terms of location (internet access and time zone) and availability (time of day and other planned or unplanned commitments). These are considerations an online instructor must take into account when developing and designing group projects.