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Supporting Project Management for pupils

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1 Supporting Project Management for pupils
The key thing to note: the pupil, not the teacher, is the project manager. The teacher is an ‘executive consultant’ – a supervisor. In terms of the skills set, EPQs provide a good opportunity for students to develop those project management skills that will serve them well professionally and academically. Eleanor Loughlin

2 The Supervisor’s Role “Guidance can and should be given but care should be taken not to remove the autonomy of the student. Give time (between meetings as well as in them) for students to think ideas through and make their own decisions and offer direction through description of alternative approaches used in the topic area or by open questions so that students make their own informed choices” EPQ Teacher Resource Bank: The issue is often that in supporting students to develop skills, you have to give them room to plan and make decisions themselves but at the same time, provide the support and guidance that will mean they start with a realistic project plan, work steadily throughout and present a good piece of work at the end. In other words, you need to guide them through the planning, the process and the production of the ‘product’.

3 The Supervisor’s Role “Discussing with the student the agreed timetable for the research project … reviewing and revising it as necessary Giving guidance on matters including: the choice of research topic; the planning of the research programme; appropriate literature and sources; Requesting written work as appropriate to the project, returning it with constructive criticism within an agreed timeframe.” Durham University’s guidance for PhD Supervisors This is the University’s guidance for staff supervising PhDs – as you can see, this is very close to some of the areas highlighted in the EPQ guidance. Having worked with staff supervising undergraduates and postgraduates, I’m going to share with you some of the ‘danger points’ we see and some of the techniques we use to help staff and students to avoid and deal with them.

4 EPQ The Project Triangle Time Resources Scope Product Scope
Project Scope Scope

5 Getting Started “If you do not know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.” Henry Kissinger

6 Record of Initial Planning
First ideas for topic/title First ideas for research and development of your project Clear identification of the topic, Clear evidence of appropriate and agreed aims and objectives, Detailed project plan, Plan for monitoring against the agreed objectives. Aim – what you want to achieve Objective – how you are going to achieve it

7 Title Is it at the right level?
A research question or a testable hypothesis open question – could be answered in different ways scope for: analysis investigation and field study argument An assignment, commission, or design brief what is the purpose? who is it for? different possible development routes Be prepared to refine or revise the title

8 EPQ Student Blog Posting
“So over the half term, ive had a good think. When trying to research about bullying linked with chronic kidney failure, there is nothing really out there. So ive had a changed in heart. What about “how has the representation of women in pop videos changed in the last fifty-years?”. I think i would be very interested in this because it is totally different to what i am studying now. However this question needs to be refined and thought more about. There will be a lot more research on this when compared to bullying linked with chronic kidney failure.”

9 work expands to fill the time available for its completion
Project Plan Parkinson’s Law work expands to fill the time available for its completion

10 Open-ended tasks take longer
Project Plan Open-ended tasks take longer This ties in very closely with the requirement that there is a plan for monitoring against the agreed objectives.

11 Gantt Charts A simple graphical presentation of tasks and times
A bar chart with start and finish dates on a timeline Easy to produce Easy to explain

12 Basic Gantt Chart Start Background Reading Design Questionnaire
Review Questionnaire ACTIVITY Distribute Data Inputting Final Analyses Write Up Basic Gantt Chart Hand In Date TIME

13 Part 1: Good idea to map the tasks onto the learning objectives – colour coding makes it clear

14 Part 2: part one mapped onto the gantt chart
Part 2: part one mapped onto the gantt chart. Good to see they are ticking tasks when complete (monitoring progress). Question: how realistic is their schedule over the holidays? Is there any slippage time?

15 Example 2: tasks/learning objectives and times on one gantt chart
Example 2: tasks/learning objectives and times on one gantt chart. Good to see they are distinguishing between ‘plan’ and ‘actual’ (monitoring progress). Question: how realistic is their schedule over the holidays? Is there any slippage time?

16 Regular Meetings & Records
“A basic record of supervision should be kept (dates and main topics of meetings) and particular notes made of elements that may not be recorded by the student in their own production log but that may contribute to your final assessment (for example, the development of a new idea that changes the direction of the project). Such supervision will aid the student (and is also usually very enjoyable!) but is also, of course, extremely important in the professional quality control of the assessment — your assessment is based upon real knowledge of the student’s development through the project process — and also as a major preventer/detector of possible malpractice or plagiarism.” EPQ Teacher Resource Bank:

17 Term 1 Term 2

18 Term 1 Term 2 Project “Slippage”

19 Why do we often underestimate how long a project will take?
Not taking other commitments into account, Not allowing time for ‘blind alleys’ and ‘false starts’, Not allowing time for changes in direction and focus,

20 Why do we often underestimate how long a project will take?
Not allowing time for skills development “For me to successfully create and produce an entertaining documentary, I need to research what skills are required and what techniques can be used to accomplish a successful factual presentation. I need to consider what innermost target is and how I achieve it.” Not allowing time for dips in motivation

21 Don’t leave the ‘end product’ to the end
Producing drafts and sections helps: pupils hone their skills you and pupils identify strengths and weaknesses Identify areas for skills development you revise your support and advice in light of fuller understanding of what the student is capable of whether they are collecting data for a report or extended essay or working towards the production of an artefact or a performance, pupils need to start producing from the beginning. This way they will identify skills gaps and start to hone their skills As a supervisor, once you see some writing or a product, even in draft, it gives you an idea of their strengths and weaknesses

22 Writing Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: Bit by bit
Keeping a blog or reflective diary – recording and evaluating what they are doing and generating material for the mid and end of project reviews. Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: Bit by bit Blogs – you can monitor and prompt and other students can see and comment.

23 Project Management Resources
Businessballs - Mind Tools - Gantt Chart templates – TC aspx view=public&ddrp=1#

24 Questions?

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