Sunday, October 23, 2011

Michelle and Dan's Group Project

Group Project Guidelines

For this group project, you’ll need to dramatize an event in the life of Albert Einstein. You’ll have a number of options about how bring this event to life, but you want to make certain that it says something important about Einstein’s life and work.

There are three phases to this project:

1) Pre-Production

Before you do anything, you need to make some plans. First, you need to think about how your group will work and make some decisions about the roles you’ll each play. Next, you’ll need to gather information about Einstein’s life and determine which moment best sums up what you consider an important theme in his biography. Finally, you’ll need to pitch that episode to your main investors (us).

Specifically, here’s what you need to do:
(a) Establish a Learning Group Charter. (See the attached form.)
Once you’ve completed the charter, give us a copy. Also make sure every member of your group has one too.

(b) Gather biographical information about Einstein.
There are a lot of sources of information about Einstein’s life and times. You can find numerous pages on the web and books in the library. One of the most exhaustive is Albert Einstein: A Biography (1998) by Albrecht Fölsing.

(NOTE: Under normal circumstances, there would probably be sources available from the reading list of the course and we’d put the work into compiling a partial list of potential websites, articles, and books to append to this assignment.)

(c) Choose the biographical moment you want to dramatize.
You can pick any event from Einstein’s life that actually happened and that you have enough information about. Above all, select something that you think sums up an important theme in his life or makes an important statement about who he was or what he accomplished.

(d) Pitch your idea.
Once you’ve selected the subject of your dramatization, you need to clear it by us. That will require two things.
(1) Have your people talk to our people and schedule a short meeting (can be virtual) where you can make the case for your project. Feel free to use any multimedia sources you’d like, but nothing beyond your presence is required.

(2) Each member of your group should write up a brief argument in favor of your selection, emphasizing why it says something important about who Einstein was or the nature of his work.
After your project is approved, you can move on to phase two.

2) Lights, Camera, Action!

Now that you’ve decided on your subject matter, it’s time to bring it to life. You have a variety of options here depending on your interests and resources. If you haven’t decided on the form your project will take until this point, you might need to go back and revise your Group Learning Charter appropriately so that everyone is taking up a role that matters.
You could actually make a short film.
You could just write a script and decide which Hollywood stars you’d like to play the main roles.
You could create an audio-play.
You could storyboard it out.
You could also, if you have access to animation software, create an animated film.
Or you could try something we haven’t though of.
If you want to check out an idea, talk with us. We’ll also need to approve the format of your production before you start on it.

3) The Reviews Are In!

Once you have your completed project, it’s time to turn it in. We will set up a website so that all of your projects can be uploaded.

It’s also time to reflect on what you’ve done. First, you will fill out a Peer Assessment Form for each group member, including yourself.

In addition, fill out one copy of the Group Assessment Form. Please keep your answers as brief as possible.

Finally, we’ll be evaluating your work. To do that, we’ll use attached grading guidelines.

* * * * * * * * * *


List team members names and the strenghths/weaknesses they bring to the group.

List Learning Team Goals
Some ideas might include:
· Members are fully committed to common goal and mission.
· Members are mutually accountable to one another.
· Members respect one another and work collaboratively.

Identify Possible Problems; include a plan to address those problems.
Examples have been provided below. Replace these rules and solutions with your own. Keep those you feel apply. Add more if you wish.

Work must be submitted on time/a couple of days before deadline. If work is not submitted on time, we will contact each other to lend support.

Work must be complete. If work is not satisfactory, we will meet to discuss (web meeting) and refine/improve.

All members must attend agreed on meeting times or notify other members of conflicts. If we set up an agreed upon meeting and a member does not show up, we will ask Dan to remind participants in the Announcements to check their email and group private forum.

All members must consider other member ideas, opinions, and input. All members must behave in a supportive and encouraging manner. If a member exhibits inappropriate behaviors towards others, we will re-visit our norm/ground rules.

All members must contribute equally. If a member fails to participate or contact us for several days, we will attempt to reach out again and copy Dan in our email and communications.

We will attempt to resolve all problems within our group by contacting members and discussing issues. If we cannot resolve issues, we will contact the Dan.

Include the following in your agreement:
· Meeting schedule—
· Attendance expectations—
· Agenda—
· Roles to avoid frustration and conflict—
· List tasks to be completed
· Assign responsibility for all tasks –
· Develop and post a timeline and checklist –

* * * * * * * * * *


Student being assessed: __________________________

Student making the assessment: _______________________

For each aspect, rate the student on a scale from A to D using the following guide:
A: did this very well
B: did this adequately
C: did this less than adequately
D: did this poorly

Contributed to the Learning Group Charter

Helped to gather relevant information in a timely manner

Participated in discussion of what biographical moment to dramatize

Took an active role in preparing the group’s pitch

Participated fully in the pitch meeting (including prepared materials, discussed approach, raised questions)

Lights, Camera, Action!
Fulfilled their role as outlined in the Learning Group Charter

Attended scheduled group meetings

Offered productive ideas and feedback to others

Listened to other members’ ideas and feedback

Cooperated with other group members on completing tasks

Based on everything you’ve written above, how would you rate this student’s overall performance?

* * * * * * * * * *


1) Evaluate the Group Learning Charter that you started out with.
(a) In what one way did it help your group finish this project?

(b) Name one change you would make to the charter in retrospect.

2) Evaluate how your team performed overall.
(a) What two things did your group do well?

(b) What two things didn’t work or could have been improved?

* * * * * * * * * *


Tasks4 (Advanced)3 (Competant/meets expectations)2 (Progressing/does not fully meet expectations)1 (Beginning/does not meet minimum expectations)
Group Learning CharterThe charter was completely filled out; answers were thoughtful and comprehensiveThe charter was almost completely filled out; answers showed some thoughtThe charter was mostly filled out; most answers showed some thought but others were incompleteThe charter was not completely filled out; answers were short, irrelevant, or incomprehensible
Biographical Episode SelectionThe episode selected clearly showed a message about Einstein’s life and work.The episode contained a message about Einstein, with some extraneous materialThe episode bore some relation to a message about Einstein, but was mostly disconnectedThe episode did not say anything comprehensible about Einstein’s life or work
Argument for the EpisodeThe argument made in favor of the selected episode was thorough, compelling, and used evidence effectivelyThe argument covered most bases and used evidence to good effect, but also contained several holes/errorsThe argument made some good points, but didn’t use evidence effectively and missed important elementsThe argument made in favor of the selected episode was not well constructed, unreasonable, and used evidence poorly
Accuracy of the PortrayalThe portrayal of the episode was consistent with known historical factsThe portrayal was mostly consistent with known facts, with a few errorsThe portrayal got some facts correctly, but made errors or included some things that did not happenThe portrayal diverged substantially from known historical facts or imagined events that did not happen
Realization of the MessageThe final product clearly articulated a message about Einstein in all its partsThe final product communicated a message about Einstein, with some extraneous elementsThe final product mostly communicated a message about Einstein, but other parts were unconnected to this messageThe final product communicated no recognizable message about Einstein
The Overall Finish of the ProductThe final product was in a polished state; there were no major glitches or unfinished elementsThe final product was mostly finished with a very few loose ends or unpolished elementsThe final product was partly finished, but other parts were messy, incoherent, and/or incompleteThe final product was largely unfinished, incoherent, contradictory, and/or messy


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  2. What a wonderful way to investigate such a brilliant man. It is both creative and educational, while utilizing e-learning technology. It allows the students to research the subject and then create a communication method as a group to present the findings back. I am just wondering who is the student? high school or undergraduate I would guess?? The project really ignites the brain into so many different possibilites of how to approach the project, Thanks!

  3. This looks like a fun way to complete a research project! I especially liked the organization and evaluation tools for the groups from the charter to the rubric and that they were needing to check in often for approval to move on with their projects. Nice rubric that hits on all aspects of what you were attempting to accomplish with the project. Is there a timeline for completion on this? Kudos to you two, this looks like fun.

  4. I thought that I knew what it meant to write a rubric but as I have never taught a class and apparently no professor has ever given me a true rubric so seeing your rubric taught me a lot. I also loved the premise of your group project. It is great project on the life of Albert Einstein.