Unit 1 Appendix: Group Work Roles

As many of you know, the selection of group composition can be a difficult task. Depending on the dynamics of your class, you may decide to have the students select their own groups. If you choose this approach, make sure that students understand the responsibilities of each group member, as well as the collective responsibilities of the group. Groups may also be selected randomly, or composed by you. The latter is our suggestion, given the complexity of the group dynamics for this unit. Given the open-ended nature of the research and role-play simulation, teacher guidance is of the utmost importance.

Logistics of group work: Emphasize that this is a cooperative endeavor, where individual opinions should be respected - the students are acting as a citizen research team.

Have the groups identify roles that each member will play (roles may be doubled up, with exception of the role of the facilitator - only one person should hold this role):

  • Speaker (the primary, although not the only, presenter of the group research; participates in the team)
  • Facilitator (keeps the group on task, focuses questions, oversees issues of quality and time management; responsible for individual and group assessment)
  • Writer (coordinates the written work of research and the production of the final group brief to be presented to the team - there may be two, if dissenting opinions emerge)
  • Visual producers (coordinates and produces the visual product highlighting the major points of their groupâs position/research on the proposition on poster board or PowerPoint

Note: This division of labor can be used throughout the year if you utilize group work frequently in your class, so that before the end of the year everyone will assume one of these roles during some research or group project.

Unit 1 Appendix: Research Report Grading Rubrics

Rubric for Group Facilitator

You are the leader of your group. Your primary responsibility is to ensure that all group members are involved, and that the various parts of the project are completed and on time. You will be graded on the following criteria:

Outstanding (4.0)

  • All evaluations done daily and thoughtfully
  • All components are completed ahead of time and are exceptional
  • Group members are all involved at your urging
  • Group conflict is managed productively, and different opinions are expressed and respecte

Satisfactory (3.0)

  • Most evaluations done some are less thoughtful than others
  • Most components are completed on time
  • Some members are allowed to opt-out occasionally
  • Group conflict is minimized but some opinions are not heard or recognized

Unsatisfactory (2.0-0.0)

  • Most evaluations missing
  • Parts of project are missing and you make no effort to fix it
  • One or two people do all the work
  • Group is out of control, and you make little or no effort to bring it to order

Rubric for Group Presenter

You are the presenter for your group. You will be responsible for making your groupâs case to the legislative hearing. You will be graded by the following criteria:

Outstanding (4.0)

  • Attention-getting introduction (creative)
  • Presentation is seamless with few stops to check notes
  • At least three arguments made
  • Persuasive conclusion
  • Answers all questions clearly and thoughtfully

Satisfactory (3.0)

  • Basic introduction of group case (simply stating the group proposition)
  • Some stumbling spots, checking notes
  • One or two arguments made
  • Basic summary conclusion
  • Has difficulty answering clearly, or answers none at all

Unsatisfactory (2.0-0.0)

  • Missing or late for presentation
  • Incoherent presentation
  • No clear supporting arguments
  • No clear conclusion
  • Does not answer questions

Rubric for Visual Product

You are to prepare a visual product to support your presenter(s) when they make their case to the legislative hearing. The following standards apply:

Outstanding (4.0)

  • Visually represents three or more arguments
  • Neat, attractive and creative
  • Uses color and pictures

Satisfactory (3.0)

  • Visually represents one or two arguments
  • Neat and attractive
  • Uses color effectively

Unsatisfactory (2.0-0.0)

  • Little or no visual representation of arguments
  • Messy, no effort evident
  • Little or no color or pictures used

Rubric for Written Statement of Position

Your group should prepare one document that explains and supports your position on this topic. If your group cannot come to consensus on one side or the other, you should prepare two separate papers - have one person from each side write a separate position paper. The following standards apply:

Outstanding (4.0)

  • More than one full page
  • Clearly stated and reasoned position
  • Three different arguments
  • Recognizes and refutes opposing argument
  • Paper is well written
  • No spelling or grammar errors

Satisfactory (3.0)

  • One full page
  • Clearly stated position
  • One or two arguments
  • Recognizes opposition
  • Paper meets min. standards
  • One or two mistakes

Unsatisfactory (2.0-0.0)

  • Less than one full page
  • Position is not clear
  • No support
  • No respectful treatment of opposition
  • Paper is incoherent
  • Many mistakes

Appendix: Group Work Evaluation

Group Facilitator _____________________


Group MemberAssigned RoleTask CompletedGrade

Group Grade Average: ________________

Grading Rubric:

(If anything other than a 3.0 is given — either a 4.0 or under a 3.0 — the group leader is required to give an explanation for this on the comment section of this form.)

  • 4.0 Student cooperated fully, or respectfully/productively disagreed, with group and leader, performed assigned tasks, found necessary information as well as additional information and could explain it.
  • 3.0 Student cooperated fully with group leader, performed assigned tasks and found necessary information.
  • 2.0 Student required reminders to get to work, found only the necessary information, and completed only the minimum assigned tasks.
  • 1.0 Student completed assigned tasks after extensive pressure or teacher involvement.
  • 0.0 Student was uncooperative and unproductive.