Project work, as a self-learning method, is less structured as compared to PLM, PSI and CAI. It is also called "project method''. In schools, you may be giving assignments of various kinds to your students. Sometimes, certain assignments demand that students work on them for a longer period, say one week or two weeks, and produce something concrete or describe the process of certain experiences in the form of a report Such assignments are called project work or project method. 

The dictionary meaning of the project is a scheme or design. Through project works students get experiential learning. This provides the students an opportunity to learn at their own pace and time, while they do certain activities more or less independent of the teacher. A project is an enquiry, conducted personally by a student who is expected to use a variety of methods (e.g. analysis, interpretation, planning, etc.) to undertake a task or study a subject (in terms of knowledge, skill or attitude) and to write a report, or design and make a product, or organise an activity, or solve a problem, etc., in line with the objectives of the project. Thus, project work helps students plan, observe, analyse and synthesize. It tends to develop self-learning habits in the students. It provides real-life experiences to them. It aims at problem solving by them.

Aims of Project Work

The aims of the project work can broadly be classified into the following categories:
    Personality attributes
Let us elaborate each category for better understanding.

Knowledge : Project work helps the learner develop knowledge of the topic and learn the various techniques used in the area of study.

Skills :Project work develops the following skills in the students:
·         Skills for independent work which includes planning one's work, hunting for sources, collecting data, selecting relevant materials, fabricating experiments, manipulating instructions, making keen observations, analysing results, synthesising findings, making generalisation and presenting findings for use and necessary action.
·         skills for group work include working in a group, developing the ability to cooperate with others, developing fellow feeling and democratic spirit.
·         Skills for communication include development of oral skills by argument and discussion with colleagues and supervisor (teacher in our case).

Personality attributes: Project work also develops personality attributes which may be higher mental abilities such as critical thinking, creative thinking, evaluative ability, analytical thinking, etc., and certain affective attributes like interest in the area of study, social Sensitivity, etc.

Types of Project Work

Project work may be of different kinds. In school context, it may broadly be classified as laboratory work, field work, and library work.

i) Laboratory work : 

Laboratory work aims at developing certain skills in the student through activities conducted in controlled conditions. Such project work is carried out in science and science-related subjects. The students are required to undertake mini research projects, for example, carrying out small laboratory experiments, like preparation of oxygen, dissection of a frog, etc. Laboratory work involves skills of manipulation, organisation, experimentation and interpretation. Through lab work, students get real-life experiences, of course, in controlled conditions. The students get the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge into practice.

ii) Field work: 

Unlike laboratory work, field work is conducted in real-life conditions, and not under controlled conditions. The students are expected to go to the real-life situations where they observe a phenomenon, collect the relevant data, process and analyse the data and arrive at conclusions. Field work is appropriate for both the physical and the social science subjects. Community projects also come under field work. Students may be motivated to take up field work to gain first hand knowledge of the subject. Organising a literacy campaign in the community, visiting a nearby factory, visiting to a nearby slum, etc., are some examples of field work.

iii) Library work :

Sometimes students may be asked to undertake project work related to library studies. Such a project has potential to promote individualised learning. Though the students are not habituated to library work in schools, you can encourage them for it by assigning library projects. Library projects may be conducted in two ways:

A.      After introducing the topic and providing necessary information to the student in the class, you may tell them about the relevant books which concern the topic selected for the project work. Students should go through those books and develop a report on their work.

B.      Another way of conducting library projects is first to ask the students to read the relevant books on the topic and then ask them to come with small reports on the basis of which you can hold discussions with them.
Thus library project can develop the habit of self-study among the students.

How to Organise Project Work ?

Project work is an effective instructional method which requires participation of both the teacher and the students. Your role in project work as a teacher is very important because students at the secondary school level may not be competent enough to undertake project work on their own. With your initiative and direction the students can be fruitfully engaged in the project work. Let us discuss what is expected of you as a teacher while organising project work.

Preparation for project work:

When preparing for the project work, you should help the student perform the following tasks:
·         Selection of appropriate subjects/skills/procedures/problems/topics for the projects.
·         Offering students a choice of subject/skill/procedure/problem/topic (if feasible).
·         Formulating or rather helping to formulate clear objectives of the project.
·         Listing the resources and guiding how to locate and use those resources.
·         Sequencing the work efficiently.
·         Timetabling the project realistically.
·         Organising an adequate record system.
·         Organising and explaining the assessment schedule.
·         Formulation of evaluation criteria.
·         Outlining evaluation procedures.

With the preparation of the above tasks, you should be able to set the stage for implementation of the project. At the implementation stage also, you are expected to perform a number of tasks.

Tasks at the implementation stage: 

The tasks performed by you during the implementation of the project are as follows:
    Organising a preliminary briefing session for the students.
    Forming groups for group projects.
    Helping every students select a topic/subject for the project
    Assisting every student to plan the project by checking the plan outline, eliminating weaknesses, correcting work sequences, suggesting optimal use of resources, checking feasibility of the timetable, suggesting appropriate sources of information, etc.
    Checking every student's progress regularly.
    Suggesting modifications to plans when necessary.
    Encouraging and assisting individual student frequently.
    Checking student's evaluation procedures.    .
    Assessing the project in accordance with the planned scheme.
    Evaluating  the  whole  project  with  other students  including the project  report, project product or procedure.                           ·
    Organsing an effective group debriefing session.
    Evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of the project as a learning activity.

Evaluation of Project Work

Evaluation Of project work involves both the processes and the product of the project. The product of the project may be some concrete material or the project report.

PROJECT WORK, Aims of Project Work, Role of a Student in Project Work, How to Organise Project Work ?, Types of Project Work, CTET 2015 Exam Notes, CTET 2015 Download PDF File, CTET EXAM 2015 Teaching Methodology Study Material, Role of a Student in Project Work

The student has to play an important role in project work. Though you are there to help him throughout, the main responsibility of carrying out the project work lies with the student. There are three major stages the student has to work through while carrying out project work. 

These are:

i)  Planning stage :At the planning stage, the student has to consider the following tasks:
·         The student should have a clear idea of the objectives and the criteria of the project
·         If there is any ambiguity, he should seek your help.
·         He should understand the scope and limitations of the project.
·         He should carry out a task analysis of the project  in terms ,pf skill(s), problem(s) or procedure(s).
·         He should design a suitable plan, strategy or method for dealing with the project.
·         He should arrange the tasks in a sequence and fix a target date to complete the project .
·         He should discuss with you various aspects of planning.

ii) Implementation stage :At the implementation the student should carry out the following tasks at this stage :
·         Collect all necessary information .
·         Decide about suitable methods of enquiry.
·         Use resources such as equipment. materials, available expertise, etc., effectively.
·         Cooperate with other students in case of group project
·         Carry out the processes involved in the project, namely, analysis, synthesis, application, decision taking, problem solving, etc.
·         Stick to time schedule prescribed for the project.
·         Secure help and guidance from the teacher throughout the implementation stage.

iii) Reporting/presentation stage: The student is expected to carry out the following tasks at the reporting stage:
·         Interpret information and use materials properly .
·         Draw appropriate conclusions.
·         Compile an effective project report.
·         Present the report, product, procedure, decision or solution effectively.

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