Long-term projects are an excellent way for students to demonstrate their mastery of a subject. Multiple learning aims can be assessed in a single project. Projects can be individual or designed for a group to work on together and submit. Whether you use individual or group projects, consider a public presentation of projects to allow students to benefit from the work of their classmates.

Examples of projects

  • Video
  • Performance
  • Presentation
  • Poster
  • Portfolio

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Advantages and challenges of project assessments

Advantages of project assessments

  • Well-designed projects can assess higher order skills like synthesize, evaluate, and create.
  • A choice of project topics can be motivating for students.
  • Projects can be broken down into smaller steps with accountability to keep students on track and spot mistakes early.

Challenges of project assessments

  • Students need some support to keep them on track, motivated, and prevent procrastination.
  • Grading projects can be time consuming.
  • Group projects can be met with student resistance and may need extra support.

Creating project assessments

  • Create an authentic project.
  • If using a group project make sure it benefits from participation of multiple people.

Web resource: Successful Project Characteristics from A Faculty Guide to Team Projects.

Preparing students for project assessments

  • Explain the purpose of the project and connect it to course learning aims.
  • Describe how completion of the project will benefit students.
  • Provide a scoring rubric ahead of time.
  • If using a group project – provide students with guidance on how to work together as a team. 

Web resource: Learn how to teach students teamwork skills as part of supporting students on projects.

Administering and grading project assessments

Administering project assessments

  • Provide a clear description and allow opportunities for student questions.
  • Break the project into smaller pieces with due dates distributed throughout the term.

Grading project assessments

  • Use a rubric to guide grading.
  • Consider having students peer review other student’s drafts (using a rubric) with an opportunity to redo before final submission for a grade. Offer guidelines for reviewing and commenting on other students’ project drafts.