Guidelines on how to run a successful project

There are some simple recommendations to make sure that your project runs well and meets the objectives you have set for it. The numbered points I have put below come from a range of sources, many of which I have linked to further down the page.

  1. It may be easier at the beginning to join a project that someone has already established to see how a collaborative project can work.
  2. Look at examples of other projects and see how they were run. Read any available reflections from those involved in the project to see what worked and what didn't work.
  3. Start setting up your project early - you are far more likely to be successful in finding collaborative partners etc if you start planning at least a term before and 3-4 months before is a recommendation.
  4. Keep your project aligned with the curriculum and what you were planning to focus on rather than having it as an add-on. Your project idea should help meet established outcomes. In New Zealand, many of the TIG projects could also lend themselves to developing the Key Competencies.
  5. Keep the scope of the project small, manageable and focused.
  6. Be sure your project has "payback" for the participants - look for ways to involve your partners... even if it's only sharing the final product you create.
  7. Plan to involve 3 or more other classrooms. If one or two teachers fail to meet their obligation the project can still be successful with the remaining partners.
  8. Have clear timeframes in place that all collaborators agree to including precise deadlines for each task within the project.
  9. Set clear expectations of what the expected role is for everyone contributing to the project.
  10. If possible, try your project out with a fellow teacher to troubleshoot and identify areas that could be tightened up.
  11. You will need to work with your students on what is the expected behaviour when working in an online space with collaboration partners. This list of attributes of a global citizen could be of use here. You might build a rubric to help them develop necessary skills such as this learning log rubric
  12. Consider the ratio of online to offline activities within the project - the amount of access you have to ICT PD equipment will need to be factored in here.
  13. Avoid working during holiday times with your collaboration partners. Check with them in advance when there are.
  14. Set up an online space to work in with your global partners (such as the TIGed virtual classroom space).
  15. Allow for reflection time at the end of the project - this can often be the time when some of the most powerful learning can occur.

Possible template for global project outline to use to advertise for fellow collaborators (borrowed from the iearn guidelines)

  1. Name of Project:
  2. Brief one-sentence description of project:
  3. Full description of project:
  4. Age/level of project participants:
  5. Timetable/Schedule for the project:
  6. Possible project/classroom activities:
  7. Expected outcomes/products:
  8. Project contribution to others and the planet:
  9. Project language(s):
  10. Curriculum area:
  11. Names/email of initial participating groups:
  12. Name of facilitator(s):
  13. Email of facilitator(s):
  14. TIG virtual classroom space where work will be taking place or address of other publishing spaces

Alliance list of guidelines
This is a site that is designed for those interested in science so the suggestions here are angled at science based projects. However, many of the suggestions would be true for ANY collaborative project.

Global Schoolhouse project guidelines
A very useful set of ideas.

iearn building connections guidelines
Instructions on how to build a global project.

Guidelines for a video conference project (presentation)