Introduction to NetPBL: Collaborative Project-Based Learning
Project-Based Learning
1. Goals, Objectives, Standards
2. Select a Project
3. Audience
4. Assessment
5. Assessment Resources
6. When Disaster Strikes
Net PBL Project Plan Map
Communications: The Real Power of the Web
A Visit to Hillside School

3. Your Audience is Important

Every project should be presented in some fashion to an audience. In fact, an interested, attentive audience is the cornerstone of any good writing.

The vast communication ability of the Internet and Web can tumble down your classroom walls and present an infinite number of different audiences to your students.

Furthermore, this audience is interactive: they can become project allies and collaborators and dramatically change the learning experience.

Therefore, if you intend to incorporate Networked projects or publish your project on the Web, you need to think about your audience.

Some eighty million people currently have access to the World Wide Web. However, do not seek to address these undefined millions: a hallmark of all good writing is to identify and address a specific audience. And this need not be a huge audience... it simply has to be the right audience.

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Your audience does not need to be huge... it simply has to be right!

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As an example, the third graders who manage Hollister School's Weather Watch Project have received only a few messages about their project, but those messages were from residents of their community who complimented them on their accurate weather reporting service. According to teacher D.J. Perry, these few honest comments from people in their hometown have made this project authentic, real, and meaningful to the participating students.

Identify Your Audience

  • other students in your school
  • parents of your students
  • adults in your local community
  • other students in your community or around the world
  • potential visitors (tourists) to your school or community
  • people who are interested in the subject of your project (i.e., a "scholarly" or "hobbyist" audience)
  • Internet community
  • general audience


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Knowing your audience will help you to select appropriate information, vocabulary, and reporting style.

Contact some members of your audience and ask for their advice in your planning. As your project takes shape, ask them to review and provide feedback on the results. This ongoing dialog will help your students to keep their task and purpose in mind during the project, and give them helpful feedback for improving their work.

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Page 1: Goals, Objectives, Standards
Page 2: Select a Project
Page 3: Audience
Page 4: Assessment
Page 5: Assessment Resources
Page 6: When Disaster Strikes

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