Why the Trademark?  

Many TBL practioners use a grade weight setting exercise in a class early in the semester. Letting students have a say in grade weight setting can help with student “buy-in” to TBL.

Larry Michaelsen demonstrates Grade Weight Setting

Representatives of the teams will set the percentage of the course grade that will be determined by scores in each of the major performance areas (Individual Performance, Team Performance and Team Maintenance) during the first class period. Team representatives will also decide on the relative weight of the Readiness Assurance Tests vs. the final exam within the Individual Performance area. Grade weights will be set for the class using the following procedures:

1) Each team will set preliminary weights and select a member to meet with other teams’ representatives.

2) Team representatives will meet in the center of the room and develop a consensus (i.e., every
representative has to be in agreement about the grade weights for the class as a whole.)

3) The only limitations on your grade weight decisions will be that:
a) a minimum of 10% of the total grade must be assigned to each major performance area.
b) within the individual performance area, at least 50% of the grade must be based on the final exam.

Team Maintenance:

Each individual will rate the contributions all of the other members of their teams during the final exam.
Individual Team Maintenance scores will be the average of the points they receive from the members of their team. Assuming arbitrarily that: 1) helping behavior is worth 10 points, and 2) that there six members in a team, an example of this procedure would be as follows:
Each individual must assign a total of 50 points to the other five members in their team. Raters must
differentiate some in their ratings (This means that each rater would have to give at least one score of 11 or higher–with a maximum of 15–and at least one score of 9 or lower). The Team Maintenance scores will produce differences in grades only within teams. As a result, team members can’t help everyone in their team get an A by giving them a high peer evaluation scores. The only way for everyone in a team to earn an A is by doing an outstanding job on the individual exams and team exams and projects.


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