Generative, and Interactive
- One way
to expand projects beyond "basic levels"
is to add a collaborative, generative, or
interactive elements. Make a traditional
linear project, PowerPoint presentation or
web page more meaningful, engaging, and
high level through expanding the
- Consider projects
where students can work independently, then combine
their work with others to create a larger project.
Sometimes the sum can be greater than the parts. For
example, explore the art
student could work on a different artist, then compare
and contrast them. In the museum
student worked on different elements and came together
to create an online museum.
- Generative projects
are often collaborative, ongoing projects that involve
multiple ways of sharing. These projects are
motivating for students because they know that their
work with be valuable to others in the future. They
are generating something larger than they could on
their own. You might develop a class database of
information from a nature park. This project could
take a semester, year, or multiple years with each
student and class extending the work of students
before them. Ongoing recycling results, sports
statistics, and oral history project are others that
generate more and more content over time. Check out
project, the Monster
website. Check out some other examples of generative
- Get students involved
with designing interactive environments for others.
Students might design audience participation such as
asking questions, calling for feedback, or requesting
ideas or pictures. Students enjoy creating interactive
games, quizzes, and simulations for others. Building
questions requires students to think about the content
as they develop the questions for others. Teach
students the difference between low and high level
thinking questions. Polls, surveys, and other kinds of
data collection projects are a great way to get
students to interact with others. Check out the
provides a great example for expanding projects.
Students can ask local people about the weather
folklore and create oral histories. Each semester,
students could add to the collection. They could then
look for the science in the weather folklore and share
their ideas in text and visual ways.
Evaluation is a
critical component of technology-rich projects.
Rubrics, checklists, recorded observations, notes,
comments, and sounds can all be used for student
project evaluation. Teacher
Tap: Student Projects
contains lots of ideas for student project evaluation.
If you'd like to create rubrics, try Rubistar
Consider putting comments about projects directly into
technology-rich projects. For example, you can record
audio and text notes in PowerPoint, Microsoft Word,
- As you explore
student project, consider how students can be
consumers, creators, and collaborators. They might use
a variety of materials such as books and Internet.
They can write reports, but also build presentations,
Inspiration documents, and web pages. For example, a
project on Eleanor Roosevelt might start with the book
by Russell Freedman and include the New
special, and ThinkQuest
projects. As students develop their own materials, ask
yourself what your students might have to contribute
to the world. What could they do that goes beyond
copying? What creative activities will be motivating