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Assessing Student Performance

At the end of each IF session I have students fill out a form, leading them with the following prompts:

1.  I think I helped the group when I….

2.  I think I could do better at….

3.  Our Facilitator really helped the group when he/she….

4.  As a group we could have used more help to…..

5.  Before the next meeting, I agreed to…..

6.  Next meeting, I would like our group to…..

I then send the facilitator comments privately to the facilitator.  The students are posting their notes up on a class wiki, at the end of their notes, I then post the comments from the whole group laying out what they wanted to accomplish next time.

My class meets at night, and the students seem really tired by the end of the process, they rise to the occasion, but I have hesitated to have them process immediately after the meeting.  Instead, I have started the next class by asking people about their experiences and suggestions.

One issue is also that the groups need to, for practical and complicated reasons, leave the common space and go to smaller seminar rooms so I can’t watch all of them.  In fact, I decided last week to just sit in a neutral location where they could call upon me if needed, and just really let them own the process.  This ended up making me rather nervous, but they took longer than I suggested and came back feeling good about the progress they made.  I don’t think I will do that again, as I want to have a better sense of how their discussions are going aside from just the results.  But I did want to try and give them the clear message that they own their discussions.