Wednesday, February 11, 2015

CATME by Mary Hamman

Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME) is a system of tools that allows instructors to manage student teams. I use CATME in my BUS 230: Business and Economics Research and Communication course to help with two things in a semester-long project, (1) create teams and (2) collecting on-going peer evaluations.

First, to help create teams, the tool asks each student to complete a survey based on customizable factors which uses an algorithm to match team members together. I simply create the account and upload my class list, then CATME distributes the survey, collects responses, and I am able to use the algorithm to assign teams. I also have the opportunity to manually adjust the teams if I choose. Once I have confirmed teams assignments, CATME distributes the team matches to students along with a schedule matrix identifying which days and times during a usual week all members are available to meet. The system also does allow an instructor to upload a team list that is already created.

Also, CATME is used in BUS 230 to facilitate peer evaluations using CATME's validated instrument. The instrument includes scales that measure contribution to the team, interaction with other team member, extent to which kept team on track, extent to which they expect quality of self and team, extent to which they have the knowledge skills ability to perform team tasks, and more. Individuals rate their own performance as well as that of all teammates (i.e. 360 degree feedback) and I use the peer evaluation at various points throughout the course (after each deliverable on the course-long project). I distribute the evaluation task through CATME after each deliverable and after students complete it I am able to view all data as well as summary scores for each construct within the scale. CATME also "flags" teams where there appears to be a conflict, such as when one team member rating herself far higher than her teammates but her teammates ratings do not agree. CATME also provides a global evaluation score for each student, which I use to weight the grade the group received on the deliverable and assign individual grades. I also allow CATME to automatically release a summary of feedback to students so they know what team skills they should focus on improving. However, instructors can choose to withhold that summary if desired. I am extremely happy with CATME. Students also seem very happy as I am getting comments such as, "This is the best team I have ever worked with" and "I feel well matched with my team members." I feel it offers the opportunity to help students develop their team skills and improve rather than simply evaluate and assign grades.

CATME is free to instructors and information is available here:

Submitted by Mary Hamman, Economics