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Assigning and assessing projects

How will students share what they have learned? Will you assign an end product of some kind? If so, who decides what it will be—you, or the student?  

This is important to think about. In terms of Bloom’s Taxonomy, the hope is to have students analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the information they’ve gathered, and then DO something with it.

  • Consider an assignment that begins with one of these verbs: decide, judge, hypothesize, design, construct, implement, produce, invent, compare, or demonstrate. Products that result from these types of assignments are creative, engaging, and represent higher order thinking.
  • Technology makes it possible to offer a vast array of ways to share what has been learned. The traditional written report may be replaced with multimedia posters, online student-created magazines, book trailers, videos, animations, cartoons, timelines, podcasts, and infographics. TeachersFirst recommends these tools as great choices for K-5 student projects. Check out the many tools of the TeachersFirst Edge for reviewed web tools and specific project suggestions suitable for older students. Be sure to read “In the classroom” portion of the reviews! For project ideas. Click on the categories at the left for different tool types, such as digital storytelling.


How will you assess the work your students do? Will you evaluate the process as well as the product? How will the different parts of the process be weighted? Will you use a tool like a rubric? Will the students do a self-evaluation or reflection on their process or product or both?

Decide ahead of time what your assessment will look like. If at all possible, share exemplars from previous classes so that students can see what is expected and what is possible.

If you are using a rubric, share it with students from the beginning, so that they have a goal to work toward. A self-evaluation or reflection should be included. When students are held accountable for their learning and the process they used, they are better able to consider what to do differently next time. If you have done prior projects, suggest that students to add a goal to their individual rubric, encouraging them to improve in areas where they were not as successful in the past.

No time to create your own rubric? Check out Rubrics to the Rescue, including the many ready-made rubrics and rubric making tools listed there.


Start Before you Begin Practical Details Assigning
& Assessing
For Primary Students For Grades
3 & Up
For Middle Grades More