Collaboration is an integral part of project based teaching and learning. At times it is difficult for students to find their place within the project team. In her book Project Based Teaching: How to Create Rigorous and Engaging Learning Experiences, author Suzie Boss shares a simple assessment – SING – students can use (with the help of a teacher as needed) to determine an appropriate fit within the team (pp. 86-87):
- Strengths – What are your strengths? What can you do really well that could help the team?
- Interests – What are your interests? What things do you really like to do, read, research, and talk about?
- Needs – What are your needs? What do you help doing within the team environment or project environment?
- Goals – What are your goals? What do you hope to learn from this project? What will you do with what you have learned? Do you have a bigger vision of how this project fits within your learning path?
Teachers can use the information from the SING self-assessment to assign students into teams. Students can use the information from the SING self-assessment to help each other and assign necessary roles within the team.
As you prepare for end-of-the term projects, consider using the SING self-assessment with your students. It may be awkward at first, but you will learn much about their perceptions of their own skills and abilities, and you can use the information to build learning teams that will be successful. Your students will greatly benefit from your efforts!