Today, I met with each work group to get a sense of how the contacts with their community partner has gone and to offer suggestions for how they might proceed. One group have not made contact yet (should I be surprised?!), so I had them craft their email in front of me and determine who to send it to and send it. Other groups have met but didn’t get answers to the following questions which were intended to help narrow the focus of the project and to give a clear direction to both my students and the community partner:
- What information they are interested in learning about their organization? (Effectiveness of programs, needs of clients, habits of volunteers, possible locations of services, etc.)
- Why are they interested in learning this information? How will it help their organization’s mission?
- Do they have specific thoughts/suggestions for how/when/where you should go about collecting your data?
- Who would be the best person(s) to report the results to and is there a venue that they prefer to have the presentation in (for instance a quarterly board meeting) rather than traveling to our classroom?
The work groups are to submit their project proposals next week. Once again, Josh Wilkerson did most of the heavy lifting in terms of crafting the key elements:
The proposal should essentially contain the following (though you should avoid labeling the sections directly after these questions):
- Who? – The organization you are partnering with and the names of the members in your team in which you designate a project manager.
- What? – What are the major questions your group is going to focus on answering (see possible suggestions on the first page)
- Why? – Why are the questions you listed above worth answering? What value can be gained by reading the results of your final project? This can be answered from both the organizations perspective and yours as well.
- How? – This is the bulk of your proposal where you explain the different stages your group will have to work through to meet your objectives. An excellent sample “How? Statement” from a previous project year will be provided for you on the class website as reference.
- When? – Provide a timeline for the completion of various stages of your project. For now this will not be specific, we will refine it later. For now you should note that your survey and data collection should be finished prior to spring break and your final report and presentation will be completed by the end of April.