I am a TA for a freshman course in the humanities at a US university. Due to pandemic restrictions, the class is entirely online and the medium through which students learn is Canvas. Lectures are pre-recorded by the instructor and posted to the course site, as are any reading documents or assignments. Students contact me in "real time" through email, course messaging, and virtual office hours (held via Zoom).
Students complete some individual assignments and upload their work to the course site, but they have also been broken up into project groups and complete group work. It is their job to contact their group members and work together to submit assignments.
I am not sure how to grade group work when:
- It is clear that only one or two students did all of the work
- Each student receives the same grade as everyone else in their group (something I cannot change per my instructor's request)
I cannot force students to learn and I cannot change how learning outcomes are assessed. But how can I reward students for meeting objectives while not punishing them if students in their group do not contribute?
- Changing the course gradebook and ways that assignments are graded is not a viable option because the instructor has asked me not to.
- The instructor is very clear that neither they nor I are to intervene in group disputes. According to the instructor, "Students need to learn to work with difficult people."
- I do not see the value of group assignments in this course because (in my opinion) students aren't meeting the learning goal if they only think about certain parts of the assignment. I also think it is unhelpful and difficult to put the burden of communication on the students during a pandemic with asynchronous learning.
- I do not want to encourage the "good" students to do all of the work for the group just to get a good grade because I do not think that promotes healthy behavior toward group work.
- The instructor is not open to negotiating how the course is run.
- I am the only one grading assignments, meaning that I can come up with whatever grading scheme I want and have the entire class graded with the same metrics.
- I can create content (handouts, etc.) and post to the course site as much as I please.
Note: I've looked at this question, which does not answer my question here but might help when I run a course as the instructor.