How to Plan and Design the Project

Students designing their project together

Planning the project involves students thinking about and working out how their investigation will take place. Designing relates to the structure of the project and answers the question “What do I need to solve my problem?” and “How do I obtain the data to solve it?”

Many students find planning and designing difficult because these tasks require students to engage in difficult cognitive work. Planning and designing: 

  • Make students think ahead
  • Require them to specify materials they need
  • Forces them to develop an outline of what they will do
  • Makes them create or modify material

However, learning and engaging in planning and designing has many benefits for students:

  • Focusing on planning helps students think through issues and become thorough in their thinking
  • When students make a plan and design, they develop more ownership of the investigation
  • Because they make the plan and design, they also understand them

How can you help students plan and design

There are a number of ways to help students in learning how to plan and design, which include: using goal sheets, critiquing plans and designs, modeling planning and designing, and creating class plans and designs.

How To Do It

  • You can help students track plans by developing goal sheets
  • Help students determine the division of labor by learning to create tasks
  • Help students develop timelines and schedules using their calendars or AI tools that can be very helpful
  • Help students make resource lists that are necessary for the project
  • Teach students to critique good and poor plans and designs, so they learn from others’ experiences
  • Help students by modeling how you might go about planning and designing an investigation 
  • Have students work on a plan and design together
  • Help students create in small groups a number of designs and plans. 
  • While students create their plans and designs, provide feedback and have them share their plans and designs with the class to get feedback
  • Have students record the comments on their work
  • Students will not only learn from others’ feedback, but by being exposed to others’ plans and designs, they can learn how to do it themselves

How to Schedule Tasks With AI

One of the most important things in a team project is the ability to manage tasks, prioritize them and follow up on task completion. In the past, well managed teams used the calendar to schedule the tasks of the entire project, but many times got confused how to prioritize tasks and synchronize tasks for all team members. AI builds the entire schedule for the team by synchronizing tasks based on task priorities and it makes following up on task completion much easier. One such AI powered application is Motion, which focuses on project management, helping students keep track of all the tasks they still have to complete. By tweaking each task priority, the student will be telling the AI engine when it should land on the calendar and how to place the other tasks around it.