Have collaborations rated via FeedbackFruits Group member evaluation

Lecturer's name:

Marianne Bol-Schoenmakers


Veterinary Medicine


FeedbackFruits Group member evaluation

Within the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Marianne Bol-Schoenmakers, together with a team of lecturers, runs Toxicology courses for BMW, Biology and Veterinary Medicine for about 130 students a year. Students have to apply existing knowledge gained in earlier parts of the programme within the field of toxicology. This is done through (interactive) lectures and examples in working lectures. In addition, students write a research proposal in groups. To let students assess this collaboration, Marianne uses FeedbackFruits Group member evaluation.


A key purpose for using the tool was to assess group work more fairly. Students are not always happy with group work, they feel that there are always students who can 'hitch a ride' and thus get a higher grade with little effort. Given the teacher's workload, it is very difficult to get everyone to do such an assignment individually. Writing a research proposal is an important in-depth assignment, which makes the course a level 3 course. By deploying the FeedbackFruits (FBF) Group member evaluation tool, Marianne wanted to prevent students from easily hitching a ride with fellow students. Marianne explains: In the tool, halfway through the course, students first assess themselves, and then compare their efforts with those of their groupmates. In the first years, I also used FBF to make a final assessment of group work in the last week of the course. Based on this, I then personalised the group grade. The last two times, I turned this final evaluation into another group activity, where they had to discuss the collaboration and also consider the improvements. For the mid-term evaluation, I still use FBF. Recently, I also started using UU's Collaboration Matrix to have students make mutual agreements at the beginning of the course. This gives them even more tools.


Marianne says she has achieved the intended goal with the tool. Reading reflections, which students write based on the feedback, you can see that they see certain deficiencies or, on the contrary, strengths of themselves. These they can use again in a next group project. Also, there are really fewer 'free riders', because students feel they can be judged on this. This gives the tool a kind of preventive effect. Students also like being able to make agreements in advance about how they will tackle the group work. They often give honest motivations when assessing criteria and, in the vast majority, are polite and constructive in their comments to fellow students.

Tips from Marianne

  1. Make sure you already do group evaluation once somewhere halfway through the course, so that students can adjust their behaviour. And let students evaluate so that there is added value for themselves for the future.
  2. Explain very clearly why you have the assignment done, include collaboration as a learning objective in your course. As a teacher/coordinator, it is very important that you read the assessments and send a short message to the group saying that you have looked at them and whether you have the impression that things are going well or not so well. With that, they also see it as a serious assignment.
  3. For reading the assessments and reflections, you should really reserve time in your diary. If there seem to be problems: make an appointment with the students immediately, even if they don't explicitly ask for it themselves.