The Group Contribution Grading feature helps teachers provide students with an individualized grade based on peer evaluations of group member contributions in a group project.
With this feature, teachers can gain insights into collaboration dynamics, uncover imbalances in students' contributions, and provide grades that accurately reflect individual’s effort in a group project.
After students provide ratings to each other based on preconfigured feedback criteria, the feature calculates a factor and suggests a grade adjustment. Then, the teacher can apply the suggested adjustments to each student directly within the tool to provide a final individualized project grade.
There are two possible factoring methods in Group Contribution Grading:
Group Contribution Factor is recommended in situations where the teacher wishes to scale grades based on students’ performance/contribution relative to their group. After adjustment, students who were rated higher than group average will receive a higher grade, and students who were rated lower receive a lower grade. This promotes fairness by increasing grades for students who contributed more and decreasing grades for those who contributed less than the group average.
It is calculated with an individual student’s average received ratings from their peers and the average ratings of their group.
In simplified terms, Group Contribution Factor is the square root of the result of 'Student's Average Received Ratings from Peers as a percentage' divided by 'Average or All Received Ratings by Group as a percentage.’
Group Skill Factor is recommended in situations where the teacher wishes to scale grades based on students’ performance on feedback criteria. After adjustment, students who were rated higher will receive a higher final grade than those who were rated lower. This helps acknowledge individual performance in a group project, fostering a balance between group success and personal growth.
It is calculated only with an individual student’s average received ratings from their peers. It provides an indication of the student’s performance relative to the maximum level they could have achieved. In simplified terms, Group Skill Factor is the square root of the result of 'Student's Average Received Ratings from Peers' divided by 'Max Possible Ratings on Feedback Criteria'.
This means that a student’s Group Skill Factor does not depend on the ratings that other students receive.
For a comprehensive explanation of the formulae above, please refer to Group Contribution Factor Calculation and Group Skill Factor Calculation.
In this article we elaborate further on Group Skill Factor, including its set-up, calculation, and practical examples.
Please read this other article for information on Group Contribution Factor.
Group Skill Factor - How to set it up?
Group project grade
It’s important to note that grade adjustments based on Group Skill Factor may only be applied when a group project grade has been manually entered in the activity.
The instructor needs to manually enter the grades for each group (see Group Skill Factor - How to apply to final grades? for details).
Group Skill Factor is only available within a Group Member Evaluation activity with the following configuration.
Configure student collaboration options
First, in the ‘Instructions’ step, ‘Student collaboration’ options, choose the following settings:
Students are evaluated individually
Students evaluate within groups
Fig. 1. Configuring ‘Student collaboration’ options in the ‘Instructions’ step for enabling Group Contribution Grading
Configure rubric or scale criteria
Second, add at least one rubric or scale criterion in ‘Given Reviews’ step.
Fig. 2. Configure rubric or scale criteria in the ‘Given reviews’ step
Enable Group Contribution Grading and factor method
Then, go to the ‘Grading’ step at the end of the activity.
If the ‘Grading’ step does not yet exist, click on the purple plus button on the bottom of the activity and add ‘Configurable Grading’ as a learning step.
Fig. 3. Add ‘Configurable grading’ as a learning step.
Then, in ‘Grading’ step, click to expand ‘Grading options’, and toggle on Group Contribution Grading.
Fig. 4. Grading step with ‘Grading options’ settings opened.
In the opened dialog, select ‘Group Skill Factor’ and click ‘Next’.
(For more information on ‘Group Contribution Factor’, please check this article.)
Fig. 5. The two factor methods within Group Contribution Grading.
Customize grade adjustment rules
In the following screen, customize grade adjustments rules. Note that rules can always be modified later.
Fig. 6: Customizable factor threshold. The values in this figure are the default.
The grade adjustment rules consist of two parts: performance category based on Group Skill Factor and Suggested Adjustment.
Performance categories and thresholds
Group Skill Factors are calculated only with individual students’ average received ratings from their peers. It provides an indication of the student’s performance compared to the maximum level they could have achieved. Thus, these values are always between 0 and 1.
The possible range of Group Skill Factor is broken down into three performance categories: Lower, Middle, and Higher. Each category represents a range of Group Skill Factor values. See Group Skill Factor calculation for interpretations of the values.
The Lower Category’s lower bound is 0, the minimum possible Group Skill Factor value, and its upper bound is the Lower Threshold.
The Middle Category’s lower bound is the Lower Threshold, and its upper bound is the Higher Threshold.
The Higher Category’s lower bound is the Higher Threshold, and its upper bound is 1, the maximum possible Group Skill Factor value.
The Lower Threshold and the Higher Threshold are customizable to make sure that meaningful adjustments are made.
Below is an overview of the performance categories, default Lower Threshold and Higher Threshold, Suggested Adjustment, and Suggested Overall Grade for each category.
Suggested Adjustment
The Suggested Adjustment for each performance category can also be customized through the dropdown menus.
The following adjustments can be used. All options are possible for every performance category:
The grade is multiplied by [a number]: student’s final grade will be their group project grade multiplied by the number set by the instructor
The grade is multiplied by the factor: student’s final grade will be their group project grade multiplied by their Group Skill Factor
The grade is set to [a percentage]: student’s final grade will be their group project grade percentage set by the instructor
The grade is added by [a percentage]: student’s final grade will be their group project grade added with the percentage set by the instructor
The grade is subtracted by [a percentage]: student’s final grade will be their group project grade subtracted with the percentage set by the instructor
The grade is unaltered: student’s final grade will be their group project grade
Fig. 7: Customizable grade adjustment rules, with the dropdown menu showing all possible grade adjustments.
Performance category and their visual representation | Meaning of category based on default thresholds | Lower bound value | Upper bound value | Default Suggested Adjustment | Suggested Overall Grade (individualized project grade) with the Default Setting |
Lower Category: Red | Students who perform below required level | 0 | Lower Threshold (default is 0.56) | -Group Project grade | 0% |
Middle Category: Orange / yellow | Students who perform near the expected level | Lower Threshold (default is 0.56) | Higher Threshold (default is 0.8) | (Group Skill Factor - 1) * Group Project Grade | Group Project Grade multiplied by the student’s skill factor |
Higher Category: Green | Students who perform above the expected level | Higher Threshold (default is 0.8) | 1 | Group Project Grade | Group Project Grade, unaltered |
After customizing the threshold values, click Done to save changes.
Grading facet weights with Group Skill Factor
When Group Contribution Grading is enabled, all other types of grading become unavailable due to the nature of this functionality. This means that ‘Average ratings received from reviewers’ remains the only available grading facet, and its weight is set to 100% automatically.
Leave this facet weight at 100% for the feature to work correctly.
Facet weights of individual feedback criteria within ‘Average ratings received from reviewers’ do not impact the calculation of Group Skill Factors. All criteria are always weighted equally in calculating Group Skill Factors.
Fig. 8. Facet weights on feedback criteria.
Finally, click Save in the top-right corner of the screen to save the activity. When you have finished setting up the assignment, it is time for the students to get started giving feedback to each other!
Fig. 9. Save activity.
Group Skill Factor - How to apply to final grades?
Once the deliverable project is submitted and graded, and all the student reviews have been given, the teacher can start applying grading adjustments based on Group Skill Factor. This will determine each student’s individualized project grade.
It’s important to note here that a student’s Group Skill Factor is calculated real-time with all currently available ratings. Adding, removing, or modifying ratings (by peer students or the instructor) will change the calculated factors. Thus, teachers should wait until all students have completed giving ratings to apply grade adjustments (see below for the impact of changes in ratings on Group Skill Factor).
To review Group Skill Factors and apply grade adjustments, follow the following steps:
Go to the ‘Grading’ step.
For each group, enter their project grade (as a percentage) in the ‘Group project grade’ column.
Review the ’Suggested adjustment’ column. These suggestions are calculated based on the grade adjustment rules for the Group Skill Factor and the group project grade.
Click the arrow icon to apply suggested adjustments to the overall grade.
Apply for all students: Click on the double arrow button in the table header, between the ‘Suggest adjustment’ and ‘Adjustment’ columns. The button is shown in a red box in the screenshot below.
Apply for all students in a group: Click on the double arrow button in the row of the group. Every group has its own button. The button is shown in blue boxes in the screenshot below.
Apply for just one student: Click on the single arrow button in the row of the student. Every student has its own button. The button is shown in a yellow box in the screenshot below.
After applying, the corresponding rows in the ‘Adjustment’ column will be filled with the suggested adjustments.
Manually override the adjustments in the ‘Adjustment’ column if needed.
Fig. 11. ‘Grading’ step containing Group Project Grade, Group Skill Factors, and Suggested Adjustments.
Updates to Group Skill Factors and Suggested Adjustments in real time
Group Skill Factors and its Suggested Adjustments are updated in real time. The following circumstances will cause them to change:
When peer students or the instructors add, remove, or modify a rating. This will change the Group Skill Factor associated with the student who received the modified rating. It could also impact the Suggested Adjustment if the new Group Skill Factor falls into a new Performance Category.
When the instructor modifies grade adjustment rules. This will change Suggested Adjustments.
When the instructor modified or remove a group project grade. This will change Suggested Adjustments.
Group Skill Factor - Student View
The instructor must click on ‘Publish grades’ after applying grade adjustments to make grades available for students.
Fig. 12. The ‘Grading step’ after Group Skill Factor has been configured, showing the ‘Publish grades’ button and explanations for applying Suggested Adjustments.
After grades are published, students will see an individualized project grade and its breakdown in the activity.
The breakdown includes the following:
Group project grade: the group project grade entered by the instructor
Received ratings: grades based on average ratings received from reviewers
Grade adjustment: the final grade adjustment by the teacher
Under ‘Grade adjustment’, the student’s Group Skill Factor and Suggested Adjustment are also visible
Fig. 13. Student view of the individualized project grade with Group Skill Factor.
Group Skill Factor and grade adjustments - How is it calculated?
This section includes an explanation of the formula for calculating Group Skill Factor. For a practical example on how this takes place in a mock activity (including demonstration of the calculation process in excel), see Practical Example.
Group Skill Factors are calculated only with individual students’ average received ratings from their peers. It provides an estimation of the student’s contribution compared to the maximum level they could have achieved. Thus, these values are always between 0 and 1.
Self-assessment ratings are not included in the calculation.
Group Skill Factor calculation
Calculating Group Skill Factor involves 3 steps:
Normalize peer ratings: every peer rating is divided by the maximum possible rating on the criterion. This ensures that the Group Skill Factor is comparable across activities or criteria with different settings.
Here, ‘Max Possible Rating’ is the highest point value in the rubric or scale criterion. For example, in the following rubric, the ‘Max Possible Rating’ is 3.
Fig. 14. A rubric with four levels and ‘Max Possible Rating’ of 3.
Important Note
When using a Scale criterion, the values used for normalization are impacted by the setting ‘Adjust lower rating on scale to result in 0 grade points.’ When this setting is enabled, 1 is subtracted from each rating value in grade calculations and rating normalization.
For example: in the following scale criterion with 7 levels, if the setting is enabled, the ‘Max Possible Rating’ becomes 6, and the minimum possible rating becomes 0. This change to values is not visually reflected on the Scale.
Fig. 15. A scale criteria section with the setting ‘Adjust lower rating on scale to result in 0 grade points’ enabled.
Average normalized ratings per student (Peer Contribution Grade): For each student, calculate the average of all normalized peer ratings. We call this result ’Peer Contribution Grade‘.
Compute Group Skill Factor (GSF): For each student, square root their Peer Contribution Grade. This is the student’s Group Skill Factor.
The square root helps soften the impact of grade adjustment, especially for students in the Middle Category.
How to interpret the different values of Group Skill Factor?
Group Skill Factor values are between 0 and 1. It indicates the difference between individual student’s performance and maximum possible performance. The higher the Group Skill Factor, the better they have performed on the grading criteria.
This means that the interpretation of Group Skill Factor values depend on the instructor’s expectations and the rubric or scale settings.
Using the previous rubric as an example. In the following rubric, there are four levels.
Beginning, whose point value is 0 points.
Emerging, whose point value is 1 point.
Proficient, whose point value is 2 points.
Experienced, whose point value is 3 points.
Fig. 16. A rubric with four levels and ‘Max Possible Rating’ of 3.
Group Skill Factors based on this rubric can be interpreted in the following way:
When a student’s Group Skill Factor is below 0.57: on average, their skills have not met the ‘Emerging’ level. This is because their average rating would be less than 0.33 (1 out of 3), and the square root of 0.33 is 0.57.
When a student’s Group Skill Factor is between 0.57 and 0.82: on average, their skills are between ‘Emerging’ and ‘Proficient’ levels. This is because their average rating would be between 0.33 (1 out of 3), and 0.67 (2 out of 3). The square root of 0.33 is 0.57, and the square root of 0.67 is 0.82.
When a student’s Group Skill Factor is above 0.82: on average, their skills are at above ‘Proficient’ level. This is because their average rating would be above 0.67, and the square root of 0.67 is 0.82.
When a student’s Group Skill Factor is 1: all their skills met the ‘Experienced level’. This is because their average rating would be 1 (3 out of 3) and the square root of 1 is 1.
The above explanations are for general guidance only. We advise instructors to test and experiment with different values to find the most suitable interpretation for their use cases.
Grade adjustment and applying adjustments
After the Group Skill Factor has been calculated, a suggest grade adjustment is generated by the system. This ‘Suggested Adjustment’ takes into account the student’s Group Skill Factor as well as the grade adjustment rules configured by the teacher (see Customize grade adjustment rules).
The instructor can then apply the suggested adjustments to finalize students’ individualized project grades following instructions in Group Skill Factor - How to apply to final grades?
Group Skill Factor and relevant data in Analytics Export
Group Skill Factors are also included in the activity analytics export, in case instructors would like to make use of this feature in a more flexible way. You may download the analytics export in ‘Overall student progress’ at the top of the activity.
Fig. 17. Overall student progress, showing the ‘Export Analytics’ button.
When Group Skill Factor is enabled, four additional columns are added in the ‘Analytics per student’ tab in the analytics export: Group Skill Factor, Peer Contribution Grade, Group project grade, Suggested adjustment. The values in each column corresponds with those in the activity.
Fig. 18. Screenshot from an Analytics Export, showing the four additional columns.
For the definition of Peer Contribution Grade, see Group Skill Factor calculation.
Practical example
In this section, we provide a practical example for an activity using Group Skill Factor.
At the end of this page, you can download the example analytics export to see detailed calculation of Group Skill Factor.
In activity ’Group Skill Factor practical example activity‘, all settings have been configured according to instructions in Group Skill Factor - How to set it up?.
This activity contains 1 rubric section, which includes 6 rubric criteria. All rubric criteria contain 4 levels.
Unsatisfactory, whose point value is 0 points.
Satisfactory, whose point value is 1 point.
Proficient, whose point value is 2 points.
Advanced, whose point value is 3 points.
‘Advanced’ is the highest level, and has the maximum point value, 3 points. Thus, 3 is used as the ‘Max Possible Rating’ for normalization (see Group Skill Factor calculation).
Fig. 19. ‘The rubric section, which includes 6 rubric criteria. All rubric criteria contain 4 levels, where the point values are 0, 1, 2, 3. The maximum point value is 3 points.
The instructor has determined that:
students who have been rated at lower than Satisfactory level (0.33, 1 out of 3) of the group average will receive only 40% as their final grade
students who have been rated between Satisfactory (0.33, 1 out of 3) and Proficient levels (0.67, 2 out of 3) will receive their final grade as their group project grade multiplied by the Group Skill Factor
students who have been rated at higher than Proficient (0.67, 2 out of 3) will receive the full project grade, and an additional 10%
Thus, the Lower Threshold is sqrt(0.33) = 0.57,
Thus, the Higher Threshold is sqrt(0.67) = 0.82
The following screenshot shows the grade adjustment rules with customized Lower and Higher Thresholds.
Fig. 20: Dialog with customizable grade adjustment rules. The settings in this figure have been customized according to the above.
The following presents an overview of the performance categories, their thresholds, and the suggested final grades for each category.
Performance category and their visual representation | Meaning of category | Lower bound value | Upper bound value | Suggested Adjustment | Suggested Overall Grade (individualized project grade) |
Lower Category: Red | Students who perform at an unsatisfactory level | 0 | 0.57 | set to 40% | 40% |
Middle Category: Orange / yellow | Students who perform at a satisfactory level | 0.57 | 0.82 | Group Project Grade * (Group Skill Factor - 1) | group project grade multiplied by the student’s skill factor |
Higher Category: Green | Students who perform at a proficient level | 0.82 | 1 | + 10% | Group Project Grade + 10% |
The instructor has finished grading students’ deliverables and Group 1 received 80% on their group project. In Group 1, there are 6 students, and they have completed giving ratings to each other based on the feedback criteria. Computed Group Skill Factors and Suggested Adjustments are displayed in the image below below.
For a detailed breakdown of calculations of Group Skill Factors in this table, please refer to the example Analytics Export.
Fig. 21. ‘Grading’ step containing Group 1’s Group Project Grade (80%), students’ Group Skill Factors, and Suggested Adjustments.
As shown above, each of the six students falls into one of the three categories.
Performance category and their visual representation | Student names and their Group Skill Factor | Lower bound value | Upper bound value | Suggested Adjustment | Suggested final grade |
Lower Category: Red | 1. Simone de Bugvoir: 0 | 0 | 0.57 | 1. Simone de Bugvoir: -40 | 40% |
Middle Category: Orange / yellow | 1. Wangari QAthai: 0.667 | 0.57 | 0.82 | 1. Wangari: 80 * (0.667 - 1) = -26.6 | 1. Wangari: 80% - 26.6% = 53.4% |
Higher Category: Green | 1. Chimamanda Ngozi Auditchie: 0.913 | 0.82 | 1 | 80 + 10 | 90% |
Manual adjustments
The instructor reviews the Suggested Adjustments:
The Suggested Adjustment for Simone was -40, resulting in a final grade of 40%. Upon reviewing the Group Skill Factor and group members’ reviews for Simone, the instructor understood that Simone performed did not contribute at all and her performance did not meet any expectations. Therefore, the instructor manually overrides the adjustment and deducts 80% instead of 40% for Simone. Simone receives an individualized project grade of 0%.
Fig. 22. Simone’s Group Skill Factor (0), Suggested Adjustment (-40), manual Adjustment (-80), and Overall grade (0%).
Then, instructor applies the Suggested Adjustments to all other students. The following shows an overview of all students’ Overall grades (individualized project grades).
Fig. 23. ‘Grading’ step containing Group 1’s Group Project Grade (80%), students’ Group Skill Factors, Suggested Adjustments, applied Adjustments, and Overall grades (individualized project grades).
Performance category and their visual representation | Student names and their Group Skill Factor | Lower bound value | Upper bound value | Confirmed adjustments | Confirmed final grade |
Lower Category: Red | 1. Simone de Bugvoir: 0 | 0 | 0.57 | 1. Simone de Bugvoir: -80 | 1. Simone de Bugvoir: 0% |
Middle Category: Orange / yellow | 1. Wangari QAthai: 0.667 | 0.57 | 0.82 | 1. Wangari: 80 * (0.667 - 1) = -26.6 | 1. Wangari: 80% - 26.6% = 53.4% |
Higher Category: Green | 1. Chimamanda Ngozi Auditchie: 0.913 | 0.82 | 1 | 80 + 10 | 90% |
After teacher published the grades, students can view their individualized final grade and breakdown in the activity. The following shows Nikolay’s perspective.
Fig. 24. Nikolay's view of the individualized project grade with Group Skill Factor.
This concludes the Group Contribution Grading - Group Skill Factor article.
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Download Example Analytics export
Download the example analytics export to see detailed calculation of Group Skill Factor: