Provide structure by dividing the project into smaller pieces

Break the team project into smaller components and assess and provide students with feedback on each piece. Distribute these over the course of the semester. Doing this ensures that students won’t procrastinate until just before the due date. It also alerts you to teams going in the wrong direction early enough to provide them with corrective feedback.  Finally, this helps you by distributing your project grading throughout the term.

How to do it:

  • Identify logical steps in the assignment.  To do this, ask yourself how a professional in your field might approach a project like this. For instance, if your students are asked to create a website, a professional may begin website creation with a needs assessment. If so, have your students start there and make this the first part of their assignment. Inform students that the process you have chosen for them is similar to what professionals would use for this type of project.  Make sure to communicate these steps explicitly to your students.
  • Take into account your own time for providing feedback and grading.  Give yourself enough time between steps to provide feedback and return it to students before the next step. This is especially important if a subsequent tast depends on the work done in the present one.