An instructor should never assume that particularly a grade school student can perform a task, like preparing a PowerPoint presentation or creating a brochure, etc., unless the instructor has shown the student how to perform the task and/or there is a reasonable expectation (i.e. he or she was instructed on the task in a previous class) that they should know how to perform it. Even if the project consists of course material that has been introduced to and mastered by the student, requiring methods of presentation that are foreign to him or her could be tantamount to setting the student up for failure, seeing especially that projects often account for a considerable percentage of students’ grades. Though many parents are knowledgeable and able to assist their children with these methods, it’s not a given that every parent does know or has access to resources like a computer, a printer, and the software that is necessary to complete given tasks.
An unreasonable project is one or components of a project that are either too advanced for the designated age group, does not provide all of the relevant information, or is too lengthy for a lone student to complete within an allotted period of time.
Pre-project Questionnaires & Demonstrations
Pre-project questionnaires that would inquire if students have been previously introduced to and/or are knowledgeable of required methods of presentation, and/or if they have computers, printers, required software, and any and all other components of projects should be utilized to determine if a student should be assigned a particular project or method of completing it, or if alternative projects or methods of completion should be assigned to students lacking knowledge of required presentation methodology and/or necessary resources if the instructor/school, etc. is unable to accommodate them. Notwithstanding, an instructor should always be knowledgeable of and available to provide guidance and necessary resources, if applicable, to assure that students are empowered to succeed.
In-Class and Afterschool Access to Computers
In-class computers makes it feasible for students to work on their special projects that require computer use in class with the instructor’s guidance and the necessary software that should always be available on school computers. Opening school computer labs or libraries with computer access to students after school avails students the benefit of uninterrupted use of computers such as is not availed at public libraries, where patrons are generally permitted an hour per session of use, and must turn over the computers to other library users and await cessation of the other users’ allotted privileges before they are able to resume use. Students must also pay generally between 10 to 20 cents per copy for every printed page at public libraries, and not all students can afford this.
Student Supplies Provisions
A student should never suffer academically simply because they lack the adequate resources or supplies. If a parent/guardian is unable to provide necessary supplies for a student lacking them, instructors should take proactive measures to acquire them, whether it’s purchasing those supplies, ideally with monetary allotments from respective schools, and/or communicating those needs at PTA and/or PTO meetings, or producing wish lists on school websites.