Chapter 6 in Markham, John Larmer, and Jason Louis. Ravitz. Project Based Learning Handbook: A Guide to Standards-focused Project Base Learning for Middle and High School Teachers. Novato, CA: Buck Institute for Education, 2003. Print.
The following briefs can be used to help students self-manage their project tasks:
Student Planning Brief
- The overall challenge that defines this project is …
- I / we intend to investigate:
- I need to complete the following activities:
- What will I / we do?
- How will I / we do it?
- Date due
- I / we need the following resources and support:
- At the end of the project, I / we will demonstrate learning by:
- Who and where?
Student Product Brief
- What product do I / we want to construct?
- What research do I / we need to conduct?
- What are my / our responsibilities for this product?
- I / we expect to learn the following from working on this product:
- I / we will demonstrate what we’ve learned by:
- I / we wil complete the product by:
Student Presentation Brief
- What will the audience learn from my presentation?
- What part am I responsible for?
- My plan to make a successful presentation:
- I expect to learn the following from making this presentation:
- Specific skills I plan to work on are:
- I need the following technology / equipment for my presentation:
- I need the following visuals for my presentation:
The student briefs in this article help students plan out their tasks related to project, products, and presentations. They also help students reflect on the learning goals related to these tasks. Using one or more of these briefs can help teachers provide feedback to students on their project / product / presentation plans, check that their learning goals match the intended learning targets, and address students problems and concerns in a timely manner
- Set character learning targets for students that specific describe effective behaviors related to good project management
- Select and adapt the design brief that most closely supports your selected learning targets.
- Develop an exemplar version of the student brief you plan to implement
Early Implementation Steps
- Model how to use student brief using think aloud protocol and exemplar.
- Set aside class time for students to complete the briefs and for teachers to provide face-to-face feedback on the briefs.
Advanced Implementation Steps
- Incorporate selected student brief into classroom routines
- Use student feedback to refine student brief prompts and formatting
- Analyze trends in student briefs to identify students’ strengths and gaps. Design scaffolding related to gaps.