Why are all classes on Skillshare project-based, you ask? It’s because at Skillshare, we believe that “learning by doing” is the best way to pick up real-world skills! If you’re creating a technology class, here are some pro tips for making a class project that will get your students pumped!
Define a clear, manageable scope for your projects when teaching students new technical skills. Many of our students want to level up their front end development or web design skills to grow their businesses. Clearly defining and managing the scope of your class project can help students maximize the amount of time they put their skills to use. For example, if you’re teaching a class on how to develop a website using HTML and CSS, don’t just tell students to build their own website. Instead, get students to leverage their new skills quickly by encouraging them to make a website that focuses on their business idea, favorite musician, or top 3 international destinations. Rich Armstrong, for example, asks his students to hone their coding skills by developing a website for their favorite cartoon hero. Check out the level of focus in his class project here.
Make your project easy to share, and visually appealing. Seeing visually appealing finished projects can be the push that students need to finish their own project! Where possible, encourage students to take screenshots of their finished product or select images that summarize any written elements of a class project. This will make their work more visual and “shareable.” In his class project, Joshua Davis asks students to upload an image of their final generative pattern. This is a great example of an assignment that encourages students to show off their new-found skills in a visual way.
Clearly define what success looks like. Many students taking technology classes are interested in learning new skills - which can be a daunting task! In order to keep your students focused and confident in their final product, be sure to have a clear definition of what a “successful” project looks like. A great way to do this is to highlight the elements that a finished project should have. This will also ensure that you have a clearly defined scope for your class and class project! Check out Dan Scott’s class on UI & Web Design using Adobe Illustrator, in which he asks students to develop a one-page website for a small business that includes 4 core elements.
Provide resources that will make it easier for students to start projects. Learning a new skill can be intimidating. Giving students tools or resources to help them get started can encourage them put their newly learned skills to the test! Check out this class on HTML & CSS as an example, which has great websites, apps and other tools for students to make a simple web page!
Be clear and concise. Students today want to get through more information in less time. Do your best to make your class project description brief and easy to understand. In her class on Creative Coding, Aga Naplocha shows that she’s mastered the skill of being crisp and succinct. Check out her 5-sentence project description here!
Need more help crafting your project?
If you’d like feedback on your class project, we’re here to help! Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, or share them with our teacher community in the Skillshare Teacher Center.