There are different types of projects. Some very simple projects may not follow the guidelines below, but can still be worthwhile. Online projects require a teacher to have technical ability and equipment, so there may be some projects better for beginning teachers or classrooms with very limited technology. A good online project:
- makes use of the "connections-to-the-world-outside-the-classroom" that technology makes possible.
- is two way. Both participants benefit from participation. There are many online projects that are just a collection of data. Those are easy to participate in, for you just send off your class answers to whatever the project is seeking. However, if there are no connections made and no results that benefit your classroom, why should you participate?
- has the right number of participants. I guess this depends on what the project is about. However, if the project is reading Email from the participants and there is too much Email it can be overwhelming and not effective.
- ties into the curriculum. There should be some reason for doing the project that will benefit the students and help them learn what they need to learn.
- has a clear beginning and ending date and a clear expectation of a final result.
- has a non-technology piece so that there is always something to do even when the network is down.
- is authentic and relates in some way to real life.
Next Tip: Good Online Projects