C. Making Collaborative Learning Projects
1. Design a Networked Project
Your first networked project can be fairly simple, and the steps are not
complex. This section gives you guidelines and ideas for managing your own project. You
may also want to review project management tips
provided by your project-using colleagues.
Identify a Project Idea
- Look at Project Examples
Feel free to adopt and adapt good project ideas. Conventional etiquette suggests that if
you use a project idea you credit its source by noting the original author somewhere in
your project announcement.
- Identify a Project Idea
Based on a subject you must teach, a product you want your students to create, an
outcome you desire (We suggest that you define specific project tasks and outcomes rather
than rely on "sister
school" or "pen pal" projects.)
Design your Project
- Set Goals, Tasks, Outcomes
- Design a project with specific goals, specific tasks, and specific
outcomes. What do you want your students to learn? What do you want them to do? What will
the final product look like?
- Align your goals and objectives with required instructional objectives
and curriculum standards (see Putnam Valley Central School at http://putwest.boces.org/
- Be sure your project has "payback" for the participants so they
will be co-learners with your students. Don't just ask for information and contributions
to your project... look for ways to involve your partners... even if it's only sharing the
final product you create.
- Plan to involve 3 or more other classrooms. If one or two teachers fail
to meet their obligation the project can still be successful with the remaining partners
- If possible try your project out with a close colleague first, on a small
scale. This can help you troubleshoot and solve both technical problems as well as
problems with the basic project design.
- Set Timelines
- Set specific beginning and ending dates for your project, and set precise
deadlines for participant responses.
- Make a time line and provide lots of lead time to announce your project.
- Avoid defining dates by holidays or seasons... different countries have
different holidays, and different hemispheres have different seasons.