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Abstract

Can students assess their peers on collaboration, a key practice in learning communities? The QUANTA program is a team-taught, two-semester coordinated studies program that is over 25 years old. The central governing ideas for the program are a belief in the social construction of knowledge, and recognition of the value of active, collaborative learning. Explicit instruction in and assessment of collaborative learning has always been part of the program. When new faculty took over QUANTA in its 24th year, they experimented with “The Peer Review,” a tool developed by Michaelsen, Knight and Fink (2004) in which students rate other members of their group but not themselves. They discovered that students could assess collaboration; ironically, as part of their collaborative work, students also found ways to subvert the tool and turn it to their own purpose.

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