CATME: SMARTER Teamwork

Jennifer Arnoldi, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Associate Professor
Experiential Education Coordinator
SIUE School of Pharmacy

CATME: SMARTER Teamwork

The CATME (Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness) system, a free resource to support best practices in student teamwork, began in 2003 with a goal of developing an instrument to use for peer and self-assessment. CATME’s Team-Maker and Peer Evaluation tools help instructors create teams and allow students to perform peer and self-evaluation. Within the Team-Maker tool, students complete an information-gathering survey customized by the instructor. Potential survey items are numerous and include demographics, GPA information, skills, and preferred team member roles. Instructors may also create custom survey items. When creating teams, instructors can rank whether each item should be considered or ignored in the team-making process and whether to place priority on similar rankings within the team or dissimilar rankings for each survey item (see below).

Team-making: Selecting criteria and impact on team formation

Team-making: Selecting criteria and impact on team formation

CATME can be a useful tool for self and peer assessment within groups. The Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scale (BARS) asks students to assess each member of his or her team in areas such as contributing to the team’s work, interacting with teammates, keeping the team on track, expecting quality, and having relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes. On the date(s) chosen by the instructor, students receive a survey to rate their group members and themselves. Once completed, instructors will see the score ratings and individual comments but students will only see arrows indicating the student’s self-rating, the average of how teammates rated them, and the team’s overall average rating. Instructors can preview the results page for each student if desired.

Example student view of peer and self-assessment results

Example student view of peer and self-assessment results

To begin using CATME, visit info.catme.org and select ‘Request an Instructor Account.’ You may wish to view a free video tutorial. Once you have an account, try creating a test class to practice navigating the system and previewing its capabilities. The system is straightforward and easy to use, but anyone encountering difficulty can find instructor and student support on info.catme.org in the form of FAQ’s and help. This system could benefit any instructor currently using or planning to use teams in the classroom environment. The Team-maker component can aid in making the team selection process more objective, while the Peer Assessment tool provides an anonymous and constructive method of collecting team member feedback. Future plans at CATME include the ability for students to provide comments to their peers during peer assessment and training videos to promote effective teamwork amongst students.

One final note, the CATME team approaches team effectiveness in a scholarly manner, as one can see from the publications below. Instructors may choose to release their class data to the research team behind CATME. When doing so, the data is de-identified and the data cannot be linked to any particular student. Whether the data is released or not, instructors retain access to all of their class and student information.

Selected Publications from the CATME Group:

  • Loughry, M. L., Ohland, M. W., & Moore, D. D. (2007).  Development of a theory-based assessment of team member effectiveness.  Educational and Psychological Measurement, 67(3), 505-524.
  • Ohland, M. W., Loughry, M. L., Woehr, D. J., et al. (2012).  The comprehensive assessment of team member effectiveness:  Development of a behaviorally anchored rating scale for self and peer evaluation.  Academy of Management Learning & Education, 11(4), 609-630.  
  • Loughry, M. L., Ohland, M. L., & Woehr, D. J. (2014).  Assessing teamwork skills for assurance of learning using CATME Team Tools.  Journal of Marketing Education, 36(1), 5-19.
  • Layton, R. A., Loughry, M. L., Ohland, M. W., & Ricco, G. D.  (2010). Design and validation of a web-based system for assigning members to teams using instructor-specified criteria.  Advances in Engineering Education, 2(1), 1-28.