Saturday, October 26, 2013

What makes a good project?

Anyone who is a regular to my blog will know that this school year I've been delving deep into the idea of design thinking, maker spaces and project based learning.  At ASB we are lucky enough to be having some experts in these fields coming to work with us in November, and so I've been reading their latest books to get myself mentally ready for these visits.  Today I've been thinking about Gary Stager's criteria for what makes a good project.  According to Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez in Invent to Learn there are 8 criteria or elements that make a good project which I am summarizing below:

  • Purpose/Relevance/Meaning:  the learner needs to feel it is worth investing time and effort
  • Time: to think about and make the projects
  • Complexity: bringing in multiple subject areas and connecting prior knowledge to big ideas
  • Intensity:  long stretches of uninterrupted time
  • Connection/Collaboration:  students connect to each other, experts and powerful ideas 
  • Access:  to materials, books, tools, hardware and software
  • Shareability: students are motivated when they know there is an authentic audience
  • Novelty:  rethought and different each year, though perhaps building on past developments
Do you agree with this list?  What would you add or change?  When you think of successful projects you have been involved in, did they have all of these elements?

Photo Credit: pennstatenews via Compfight cc

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