This site houses the explorations into self- and peer-assessment (SAPA) undertaken by Micah Gideon Modell. This method involves the regular collection of self- and peer-assessment data from group members involved in long-term group projects for assessment purposes. Currently this is the home of two versions of self- and peer-assessment software which are integral to supporting the method of SAPA I am investigating. These systems do not include publicly accessible content, so please contact me for more information or return later.


This latest iteration builds upon the foundations laid below to build a comprehensive platform to help instructors support collaborative learning and the development of collaboration skills. In addition to refining the self- and peer-assessment functionality and user experience, it also adds:

  • Simulated authentic group work experiences — to facilitate in-class discussions.
  • A gamified experience to encourage collaboration in reading assigned texts.
  • The ability to calculate diversity points to develop an appreciation for different perspectives
Demonstrations for much of the functionality is available by opening the application, and clicking the Demo button at the lower right.

S2 — [v2 request code]

This second iteration represents a full rewrite of the tool using ruby on rails (the ruby programming language with the rails framework). This version saw limited use and has since been retired and almost entirely rewritten as CoLab.online.

Continuous Assessment [prototype — request code]

This was the prototype self- and peer-assessment system. It was authored in php over the course of the final three weeks of 2011 and was used to collect data and assist the instructor in five classes spanning three semesters (roughly a year and a half). I called this system Continuous Assessment as it seemed an apt description, but changed it when I learned that already described an alternative method. A design case on this implementation was presented at AECT 2012 (see publications).

If you would like an explanation of the method or if you would like to use this software to implement this method in your own projects, please contact me.

Micah has over a decade of corporate experience, holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology and is currently an Assistant Professor at SUNY Korea in the Department of Technology and Society. . Follow him on Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.

As ever, this was built on the foundations laid by the giants who have come before. In addition to the references provided, I must also acknowledge crucial software upon which I've relied.

2013-2020© Micah Gideon Modell - All Rights Reserved

We would like to acknowledge the developers and maintainers of the following resources which have made this software possible:

2013-2020© Micah Gideon Modell - All Rights Reserved

This page lists publications related to this work and provides links to materials used in public presentations.

My Related Publications

On Group Composition


On Group Diversity

2013-2020© Micah Gideon Modell - All Rights Reserved

Teamwork Contracts

Teamwork contracts are a great idea, but only if your students actually take them seriously and participate in their authorship. I offer up a template contract to be used as a starting point. Please review carefully before use, and strongly encourage your students to do the same before signing. If they do not, this becomes a nice lesson in making sure to read agreements before signing and committing to them (video of group meetings is a fun follow-on).

Simulated Group Work Experience Support

Experiences within CoLab.online consist of an assignment wherein students read through a series of journal entries from one member of a collaborative learning group. After reading the member's experiences from the week, your student is asked to evaluate the group's dynamics. After the semester completes (fourteen weeks), students are asked to evaluate the group's dynamics holistically and to comment on how they might have acted to improve the situation.

The system contains multiple scenarios — each authored from the four different fictional members of the group — so your students will each have a different experience to share and the instructor can view student responses. I use these group work simulations once at the beginning and once at the end of the semester and debrief each time with a slide deck I populate with their responses as conversation starters ( course open slide deck and course close slide deck) and find this yields insightful discussions.

Diversity Points

We use groups, in part, to encourage students to appreciate perspectives that are different from their own. Doing so tends to lead to more creative solutions as well as a deepening understanding of others. To encourage this, I set some rules.

Teams will ideally comprise 4 students. Students can select their own team members, but, as diversity is often viewed as beneficial to a creative team’s product, I ask that each team achieve some threshold of diversity points(perhaps 25 or 30) calculated using the following scale (automated within CoLab.online:

 Diversity factor  Points
Home states/provinces represented 1 per
Home countries represented 1 per
Major courses of study 2 per
Gender 2 per
Age Standard Deviation
Scenarios Represented
(see Simulated Group Work Experience above)
1 per
Years in School Standard Deviation
Primary Languages Spoken with Family 2 per
Alternative Capabilities or Impairments 1 pt. per combination

2013-2020© Micah Gideon Modell - All Rights Reserved