I'm not a huge fan of the book Reinventing Project Based Learning.
at the very least, every ProJect should have a Post Mortem for Reflective Thought on what possible next steps might be, or what problems/challenges were hit, which ones may have been avoidable, how one might totally re-do given that hindsight, etc.
Apr'2012 thought: should Projects be specifically designed to be WickEd (at least after a few years of "normal" projects)? That guarantees non-formularity...
- The deliverable is still just documentation, whether a written report or presentation. Sometimes an art artifact which is supposed to be driven from some complex learning.
The kids have to mostly do it at home, alone. Meaning it's really Parent Based Learning.
The real meta-project is often to teach them Time Management. But they don't really get taught that, so it just becomes the parent's job (at least into Middle School) to track milestones, quality, etc.
Another meta-project might be physical Arts And Crafts work, but since there's limited time available, and a project-level grade at stake, there's no room for Trial And Error on this, so it falls back to Parent Based Learning.
There's not enough time for Iterat Ive development.
Likewise, until maybe Business School, I found "Group Projects" to be a pain. Why?
- again, same old boring outcome, only bigger/messier
- output hard to separate-then-reintergrate, so too much coordination hassle
any RealTime coordination a hassle to schedule/follow
- dealing with variable efforts or outcomes per individual a nasty thing for a kid to deal with
I've started to collect Stimulating Learning Projects.