Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Talent Pool

by AJ

Imagine a coordinated set of projects.. with classes participating from all over the world. Imagine these classes as an international "talent pool" of EFL students.... something a lot like Dekita's blog hub.

Students doing the "International Project Assignment" go to the talent pool to either a)Recruit foreign students to their project team or b)Find a foreign project team to join.

Imagine classes in Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Europe, and South America all participating simultaneously.... Multi-national teams recruiting each other, sharing project ideas, working together.... communicating via email, Skype, chat, and blogs.

How might this work? Here's one rough idea:

Participating teachers give their classes the same assignment... for example: "You are part of a multi-national design company. The Board of Directors (the teachers) comes to you and delivers an assignment. You are to develop a product for the international market. The "product" could be something publishable (magazine prototype, a website, a video, a proposal paper, a business plan, a product plan, etc.) or something creative (a documentary, a mini-novel, etc....) or a service (an international exchange program, a website for English students, etc..).

A central link hub, that includes links to the blogs of all participating classes/students, would act as the "talent pool" or "recruiting center".

The parameters (rules) of the Project Game are this:

*Each Teacher would have a blog.. a central clearing house for their class... which would include a list of participating student blog links (ideally published as a post so it could have a separate URL that others could link to).

*Every student must create a blog... as teams form, they may create a team blog if they wish.... or could stick with a collection of individual blogs.

1. Every project team must have at least 2 team members.

2. Every team must have at least 2 nationalities represented.

3. Teams must submit a product (something tangible.. including a paper or website), a collection of English sources (articles, videos, recorded interviews, etc. related to the project), and a presentation (given to teachers by local representatives of the teams)

4. Projects will be assessed (graded, whatever) by an international panel of judges chosen by the teachers (or perhaps including the teachers themselves). A percentage grade would be given to allow for different weighting of the assignment by different teachers.

5. The project would be due at roughly the same time for all participating classes (same week).

6. The sole criteria for the project is: Do something Great! Not good. Not boring. Not average. Interesting "failures" will be scored higher than boring successes.

Aaron (Japan) and Mick (Ubon)... perhaps we could try a simple version of this beginning in November and due in the beginning of January (or late December)-- I know the scheduling is a little tricky due to the differing semester schedules in Thailand and Japan-- so we could keep the scale smaller so students could finish in 6-8 weeks time.

I think an open ended assignment is best ("do something great") because it requires the students to do a lot of communicating, negotiating, and problem solving.

What do you think?