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Automatic English For The People

Sunday, August 14, 2005

BAS Project Assignment

by AJ

Project (75 Points)

The Assignment:

You will be playing a "Project Game". This game is designed to imitate a situation in a creative organization..... perhaps an ad agency, or a product development center, or a research center, or a movie studio, or a think tank.

You will gather a tremendous amount of information about a topic you choose. You will then make SOMETHING to turn in... maybe a paper, maybe a video, maybe a combination of "products". At the end of the semester, you will submit your "product(s)" and you will also give a 25-30 minute presentation to the class. Your mission is: Do something great!

You will need to form Project Teams in order to work on your projects.... these may be of any size you desire (see "rules of the game" below).

I know that is a vague assignment. But I do not want to limit your creativity by being too specific. I encourage you to talk to me about ideas... I will help you develop them. You can talk to me during class, after class, by emailing me, or by posting a comment on my blog.

Project Guidelines:

You are free to research anything you want and create any "product(s)" you want. However, there is one requirement: you must get information from at least four different kinds of sources.

For example, you could :
1. Interview "experts", 2. Read newspaper articles, 3. Watch videos, and 4. Read internet sites. Other possible sources of information include: internet "chats" with experts, phone interviews, radio broadcasts, audiobooks, blogs, emails, books, magazines, etc.....

Keep a list of all sources you study and copy/keep as many as possible. You will turn these in with your "product(s)".

Your presentation can take any form. Your goal is to teach us about your project and tell us what you learned and how.

Grading

A group of outside judges will grade your projects (products, sources, and presentation). These will be people I choose- probably native English speakers,... possibly a mix of teachers, businesspeople, artists, etc. Thus, nice Aj. AJ won't be doing the grading- they will!

Judges will give grades after they have reviewed ALL of the projects and seen ALL of the presentations... so they can compare them. They will be looking for creativity, great products, a large number of sources, a good variety of sources, and a powerful presentation.

Project Requirements:

1. A "Product": This is something you produce to show what you learned. Maybe a paper. Maybe a magazine. Maybe a video. Maybe an actual "product" that you design and create. Maybe a software program. Maybe a website. Maybe a business. Up to you. But it should be GREAT!

2. Sources: You will submit a list of English-language sources that you learned from (articles, books, internet addresses, interviews, videos, audiobooks, etc.). In addition to listing these sources, you should copy as many of them as possible and submit the copies to me and the judges (ie. copy articles you read, copy great passages from a books, print out sections of websites, etc.).

3. Presentation: At the end of the semester, you will present your product and talk about what you made, what you learned, and how you learned it. This presentation should be about 30 minutes long.

4. Points: To be submitted ("registered" ), a project must have a Project Name, a Project Leader, and at least 100 points invested (see rules of the game, below).

Rules of the Game

This is not an individual assignment. Instead, imagine you are part of a creative unit of a company.... perhaps a research group or a product design department.

Each of you has a limited amount of funds ("points") to invest in a project or projects. It is your job to either: a) Create a project and then recruit other students to it, or b) Join someone else's project(s)

How To Create a Project

If you have a great idea for a project, the first thing to do is to sell other students on your idea. You need to find other students to join ("invest") in it. To create a project, you need a Project Leader (probably you), a Project Name (up to you), and at least 100 pts invested in it (see "How to join and invest" below). Of course, you can invest your own points (see below).

Once you have all three, you should "register" your project with me. Give me (you can email) the leader's name, the project's name, and a list of "investors" (their names and how many points they've committed).

Since each student has a maximum of 75 points... every project will have at least two investors (the leader and at least one other person... see below).

How to Join and Invest

To join a project team you invest your points (if the team accepts you). The project is worth 75 points, so each of you has 75 points to "invest".

What does this mean? It means you decide how much you want to contribute to and risk for a project. Do you want to put all your energy (and grade) into just one project? Then you can "invest" all of your 75 points in it.

Would you rather do a little work for several interesting projects? Then you could "invest" 10-15 pts in five different projects... and do a little work for each of them.

Keep a list of your commitments... which projects you have invested in, and how many points you've invested.

Changing Deadline & Project Portfolio

During September, you may change your investments as much as you want. If you think a project is going badly, you can pull out of it and invest in a different one. If you are excited about one, you can invest more in it (if that team agrees). You can change your investments as much as you like... until the first class of October.

At that class you must submit a final list of your investments: List all projects you have joined and how many points you put in each project. This is called your "portfolio". After this class, you may not change.... you are stuck with your commitments.

Also, at this class, each Leader must submit a List of Investors for their project. This will include a list of all students who have invested in the project, how many points each person has invested, and how many total points are invested in the project.

Grading

Each project will get a percentage grade, ranging from 0% to 150%. This percentage will be multiplied by the number of points invested-- to produce the number of points each student will get for that project.

For example, say you invested 50 points in the "Rocket" project. The project gets an 80% grade. You would earn 40 points from this project (50pts x 80%). Say you invested your other 25 points in the "Language Teaching" project. This project gets a 100%.... so you would earn 25 points from it. Thus, your total points would be 65 out of a possible 75 (40 for "Rocket" and 25 for "Language Teaching").

Here is how the grading scale will work:

150% Wow! Amazing and Mind Blowing!!
120% Fantastic!
100% Great!
90% Very Good.
80% Good
70% Decent. Solid.
60% So-So.
50% Boring.
40% Low quality. Bad.

Grades over 100% will give students a significant number of "extra credit points". For example, if you invest 10 points and that project gets 150%... you would earn 15 points. Thus, you would increase your "investment" (you would earn 5 points of extra credit).

Obviously, if you want to earn a lot of points, you should contribute as much energy as possible to the projects you invest in.

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