According to the Integrative Project program, ‘’The fact that students manage their own projects is another key feature of the competency. Students must carefully list and plan the required tasks and then they must approach them methodically based on the production schedule they have established. Records of the work on each step must be kept throughout the process, which should help students overcome difficulties and make adjustments along the way. The process of managing the project culminates in a final presentation of the project and the main steps that led to the end result.’’ (p.12)
During the planning step, students must :
Make sure they have access to the resources they will need for their project (material, finances, people, etc.);
Anticipate possible difficulties;
Research their subject in order to become familiar with it;
Determine the steps/things to do and make a schedule;
Regularly validate their ideas and readjust them if they need to;
Share the evolution of their project with other students since feedback can greatly help them during this step;
Keep traces of their work as they go along;
Keep their planning up-to-date while they work on their project.
For teachers it can seem difficult to guide students adequately during the planning part of their project. Here are a few objectives that teachers could set for themselves :
Lead students to question themselves on different points : realistic time schedule, forgotten tasks, missing resources,
available resources such as money, etc.;
Help students to make links with the cross-curricular competencies, the broad areas of learning and the subjectspecific
competencies, Integrative Project program diagram p. 3;
Encourage students to talk about their project with their family, friends, other students, etc. in order to get objective
opinions about their project;
Organize supervised exchanges between students in a variety of formats; roundtables, small groups, etc.;
Offer to get in touch with people who could potentially help the students with certain aspects of their projects.
The teacher’s role in this complex step is to guide students, offer them tools and, most importantly, reassure them throughout the evolution of their projects.
On-line concept maps are also interesting tools that teachers can encourage students to use. Concept maps are a great way for students to organize their ideas while they are planning their project. In the Teacher Space a short video, in French, demonstrates the usefulness of on-line concept maps. Free websites such as Freemind give students the opportunity to create very effective and complete on-line concept maps.
VIRTUAL CLASSROOM : AN INDISPENSABLE TOOL!
It is also possible to create a virtual classroom for you and your students. It can be a very useful tool in the planning step
since it is quite simple to use for both teachers to follow the student’s progress as their projects evolve.
We know that it is important for students to plan all the steps of their project and how they will come to term with it. As
teachers we must provide them with timelines to help them manage their time correctly. Virtual classrooms can be very
handy when it comes to doing this kind of task.
Here are a few other examples that show you how using a virtual classroom could be a god tool to use during the planning step of IP :
Direct link with students and between students; rules, suggestions, questions/answers;
Follow-ups and adjustments that need to be made;
Approval of student’s plans;
Possibility of exchange between students and teacher;
Possibility for teachers to keep track of student’s work for purposes of evaluation.
Enseignante et animatrice du Service national du RÉCIT du Projet intégrateur pour les commissions scolaires anglophones