Project: Independent Research Project

Independent Research Project
Teacher: Michelle Reffner
School: Fort Collins High School
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado USA

Start Date
End Date
Description Expected Student Results
Step: 1
02/17/2015
02/20/2015
Letter of Introduction

Student Role:
First Message: Student shares their interests and goals
for their independent project including how the project
topic was chosen and why he or she has chosen to
participate.

Mentor Role: Mentor will introduce himself or herself to
student and ask questions of the student about the topic
he/she has chosen. The goal is to draw students to
consider areas within their overall topic that would be
of interest and that might make them dig deeper to expand
their search.

Mentor shares an eagerness to meet the minimum
requirements as well as the best days for posting and
reading messages.


PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 1:
1. The student will write a letter of introduction to the
mentor explaining his/her interests and activities in and
out of school
2. The student will write a paragraph to share that
problem/interest with mentor. If student has not yet
decided on an area to research, he/she will ask the
mentor for help choosing the project.
3. Student will write a paragraph to share with the
mentor what he/she already knows about the topic they are
interested in researching, why this is of interest to
them, and how they know the information.
4. Student will send all of the above information to
mentor for feedback.

Step: 2
02/17/2015
04/24/2015
Conduct General Research

Student task: The student will share research topics based on personal interests. Student will use the Internet or other resources to research their topic of interest.

Student and Mentor Task: Student and Mentor exchange letters in which they discuss topic to be researched.

Mentor Task: Mentor will research the student's chosen topic/topics of interest and send student some search terms and/or websites related to the topic. They will respond to the paragraph or paragraphs the student has written to share additional suggestions.

PORTFOLIO ENTRY #2:

Student will rank-order their sub-topics of interest and will begin researching the topics they have chosen using the Internet and other resources. They may use the internet, books, magazines, movies, or other sources as resources. They must locate at least six sources that have information on each of their chosen topics and these will be listed in a source document. Student will copy or record each of the sources they are using and will upload the list to the mentor. This research will last over a period of 1-6 weeks.

Student will compose a research document (paragraph or multiple paragraphs)summarizing what he/she has learned during their research on EACH of their topics and upload the paragraph(or paragraphs) for their mentor to review.

PORTFOLIO ENTRY #2:

Student will rank-order their sub-topics of interest and will begin researching the topics they have chosen using the Internet and other resources. They may use the internet, books, magazines, movies, or other sources as resources. They must locate at least six sources that have information on each of their chosen topics and these will be listed in a source document. Student will copy or record each of the sources they are using and will upload the list to the mentor. This research will last over a period of 1-6 weeks.

Student will compose a research document (paragraph or multiple paragraphs)summarizing what he/she has learned during their research on EACH of their topics and upload the paragraph(or paragraphs) for their mentor to review.

Student will respond to mentor messages and share information about their chosen area of research.

Suggestions for possible guidelines for research documents. These may be modified by student and mentor based on sub-topics chosen by the student. The student may add any details that they want and should put extensive effort into this research.

The student will access sites that contain articles/research about the topic.

The student will create an outline to record information about the history of the topic he/she is researching and begin recording information he/she has discovered through their research.

Student outline may be organized something like this:
Background:
Identifying factors or interesting facts
Evolution or origin of this topic
Why does this topic interest you right now?

What volunteer/summer jobs/etc. would be helpful to a student wishing to learn more about this topic?

What are some of the aspects of this topic that impact the community, the nation, and/or the world at large?

Who/what type of jobs are associated with someone interested in this topic

What special aspects of this topic make it critical to our society?

From what you have learned through your research...

What other interesting information relating to the topicdid you find during your research?

Students will site sources within the text of their paper and will include a list of the websites and any other sources used in their research at the end of the paper.

All information must be paraphrased in the student's own words and all sources of information included in the paragraph must be cited at the end of the paragraph for mentor and teacher to reference when reviewing student work. Students must use a minimum of six online sources to obtain information for this research paper.





Step: 3
03/02/2015
04/24/2015
Develop Interview Questions

Student creates a list of interview questions about the sub-topic career interests he/she is researching and will share them with the mentor. Each list of interview questions should be specifically formulated to send to individuals working in certain career areas relating to the student's particular career cluster interest areas.

Mentor Role: Mentor will aid student in identifying professionals working in those career fields of interest and will help the student contact those individuals to send their interview questions for review and response.




PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 3

The student will develop/create a list of interview questions about the sub-topic career interests he/she is researching and will share them with the mentor. Each list of interview questions should be specifically formulated to send to individuals working in certain career areas relating to the student's particular career cluster interest areas.

The student will continue to research various sub-topics and recording information about sub-topics in their career cluster of interest while waiting for the interview responses to be returned.
Step: 4
03/09/2015
04/24/2015
Find the Experts

Every student topic will be associated with one or more professional fields. Within each field there will be research conducted related to this topic that is occuring on the leading edge. The "best" experts are typically found at the leading edge.

Student Role:

1. By leveraging Internet resources as well as other resources identified by the teacher, mentor, parents, and others, students will identify both the research topics and the individuals who are conducting the research or making the discoveries.

2. Students will identify and share about the leading edge and who is doing the work at the leading edge. This is a fantastic skill to hone.

3. Student and mentor will use resources to identify major experts in the field of study.

4. Student will create a list of at least five experts in the area of interest they have chosen.

Mentor Role: Mentor will assist student in creating a list of major experts in the field. A document (MSWord, etc)will contain any biographical information and contact information available on the web or through other resources.

PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 4

1. Identify leading edge research or developments in the area covered by the topic.
2. Identify who is doing the work at the leading edge.
3. Document contact information for experts.
Step: 5
04/20/2015
04/24/2015
Create Plan for Presenting Findings

Student Role:

1. Student will create plan for developing a group presentation relating to projects and mentorships over the course of the semester.

2. Student will send outline of ideas to mentor.

Mentor Role: Mentor will assist student in identifying the best format to present the research findings.

PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 5:

Outline for presentation
Step: 6
04/27/2015
05/01/2015
Student Works on Presentation

Student Role:

1. Student will write letter to mentor presenting ideas for presentation.

2. Students will work on presentation and solicit input from mentor.

Mentor Role:

1. Mentor will critique presentation and offer suggestions for refinement.

PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 6

Draft of oral presentation
Step: 7
05/04/2015
05/08/2015
Student Works on Presentation

Student Role:
1. Student will work on multimedia or Web based presentation.

2. Student will upload elements of the project to the project file upload area for critique by mentor.


Mentor Role:

1. Mentor shares how he or she would like to summarize the information.

PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 7

1. Draft of multimedia presentation
Step: 8
05/11/2015
05/15/2015
Student Presentation to Authentic Audience

Student Role:
1. Student will present final product to an audience.

2. Students will submit final project to mentor and teacher for review.

Mentor Role: Mentor will provide student with an objective evaluation of the project.
PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 8

Final draft of presentation
Step: 9
05/18/2015
05/22/2015
Wrapping Up The Project

Student Role:
1. Student will write a 200-word letter to mentor. The subject of the letter will be a self-evaluation of the project, including what the student did well, what he would like to have done to improve upon the project, and what the mentor contributed to the process.

2. Student will submit a final project survey via the ITP Web site.

Mentor Role:

1. The mentor will write a similar message for the student.

2. The mentor will submit a final project survey.

PORTFOLIO ENTRY NO. 9

1. Thank you letter to mentor
2. Complete end of project survey