|Gian Delos Santos, DVC|
What do I mean when I say I have a love/hate relationship with projects? Sometimes I feel like students spend more time on their projects than on their papers, but hey, what are projects for anyway?
One thing, is to help students explore subjects from a new and different angle, to look creatively at a subject with a relatively low barrier of entry. In the case of Peep dioramas, students adapted a nation-wide Spring contest featuring the marshmallowy confections to come up with a fun way to look at the Avengers - this from a class that just finished reading Watchmen. I mean who doesn't love Bruce Peeper, the incredible Pulp, or Captain Ameripeep. Students analyze character motivation, personality, and setting to design appropriate subject peeps. How creative is this for someone that is studying architecture and literature?
Another thing projects are good for is to decompress and de-stress from the rigors of writing another 1,500-word English essay with at least four outside sources, properly cited in MLA format with enough analysis to make the instructor happy. Argh!
But most of all these things make me so darn excited when I see one coming through the door. I keep them in my various offices and every time I look at one it just makes me SMILE.
Even though many students do spend more time on their projects than on their papers they do help to reexamine a subject in a different and creative way. It also lets students (and instructors) take themselves a little less seriously and gives everybody a chance to just say "Whew."
What was your favorite project in school? Would you like to see more projects in college? What would those projects look like?