Resources for Project Work Students InR

September 10, 2017 | Author: TimothyYee | Category: Evaluation, Entrepreneurship, Volunteering, Fast Food Restaurants, Educational Assessment
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2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

Students’ Guidebook to Project Work 2009 InR

National Junior College


2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

Essential Skills for your I&R (Insights and Reflection) (1)

Starting a Journal

1.1 Why would a journal be useful for the I&R? The I&R document is an evidence of your ability to 

Analyze processes and outcomes during the course of your project work

Reflect and evaluate these processes and outcomes, based on new inputs, research or experience.

Generate ideas as a result of achieving greater insights.

The assessment criteria for your I&R is the very much the same as that for your EoM. The main difference here is that in the EoM, much of the analysis may arise from the data in the material. The material for your EoM thus provides a focus for you to work on you AE and GI. The I&R’s writing is based on reflection of process and outcomes. One of the difficulty that students face when writing the I&R arises from lack of “memory” on essential developments in their PW process and the actual outcome following a process. This makes their writing a little scattered and superficial in explaining their evaluation, since they have somewhat forgotten about the process. It is essential that students learn to do journals and reflections on the processes and outcomes regularly, especially when -

***the group is at a “breakthrough idea” or


when they face the need to sort out their differences in ideas/ opinions of matters;


or when they are at a crossroad where they have to make a decision to decision how to further their project. This sometimes occurs when their research data shows that their ideas are not supported by public/ professional information.

Admitting a mistake/ problem in a research writing is reasonable. However, groups must remember not to focus on blame, but rather on what needs to be done to make the best use of the situation. The group should focus on suggesting manageable solutions /re-directing the project. These are the instances where much exchange of ideas, analysis and thinking goes into the PW process. Capturing the thought processes and ideas which you have decided to use or reject can provide a focus to help you put together your I&R.


2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

Before we give you some samples, let us give some examples to clarify what is worthy of recording in your journal. 1.2 What should I record in my journal? Your I&R is about reflections on the processes and outcomes. The I&R is NOT about reflections of moral values and lifeskills. Hence statements such as “..I learnt the value of teamwork…” or “…I learnt that time management is important…” or “..I learnt I am the most hardworking member in the team…” is not appropriate for your I&R. I&R is not an extract of the written report and should not be a summary of decisions and processes that is recorded in the written report. Your I&R is about reflections on the processes and outcomes, that is -

not captured/ explained in the writing of the written report (though the ideas may be used in the WR), or


are decisions which the group may have decided not use due to reasons such as constraint of resources, or


your personal opinion or idea on a particular process or outcome, which you have thought of at a later stage.

Students elaborate on the above through: -

Analysis of the situation


Elaboration of the evaluation of decisions, thoughts, processes and outcomes


Propose alternatives and elaborate on reasons for ideas which may have helped to value add the processes or outcomes.

1.3 Samples of Journals Your journal writing can be any format, as long as it can track the reasoning of thoughts. !.3.1

Sample extract of InR from a note of meeting

Notes of meeting (May 2007 Issue: On Idea on giving away “freebies” to encourage people to sign-up as volunteer. 1.Jason, (FOR) This is a popular strategy that organizations have used for many events to attract participation. It is used widely in EXPOs. Very successful. 2. Mervyn (Against) But EXPOS are business. We are looking at community matters. 3.Jason, (FOR) National Day audience has Goody Bags too. 4. Mervyn (Against) EG: Those “volunteers” who get some commission for selling donation ticket. Are they “volunteer”? ………….. -3-

2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

Notes : Reflections and Insights on meeting ….. One idea that was discussed was the use of goody bags to attract participation, which we did not pick up as we felt that “volunteerism” and “material incentives” contradicts in purpose. On hindsight, we failed to look into what goes into the contents of the goody bags. For example, National Day Goodie bag contains items such as T-shirt and Items for participating in program (eg: torchlight). The Goodie bags hence promote a message of unity. For example “common T-shirts” represents “one people”, sense of pride and unity. Bottled water in the goodies bags, other than keeping the participants hydrated, has other purposes: Labels on the bottles, other than promoting the image of the sponsors, can be printed with celebratory messages/ National Day theme which will add to the message of “unity”, “community” and “bonding” One cause of concern raised was that in some events like NKF fundraising, “goodies” or incentives are similarly provided in the form of prizes and discount vouchers. The purpose of the goodies seems very monetary in nature. While it meets their target of acquiring donations, does it meet the objective of enhancing “volunteerism”. There are concerns1 that the real incentive to donate is that they are “buying” a chance to win prizes. There is however a slight difference in concepts between the goodies bags and the NKF example. NKF offers very attractive prizes2 which may then attract the wrong type of people (ie people who goes for the prizes) to participate. Renci held similar fundraising with no prizes involved3 and they was no critique on the intent of its donors. Similarly, the cost of the goody bag is quite small, and hence it unlikely that greed is “promoted” with the use of goody bags. Hence, we may probably incorporate the idea of goodie bag, if its contents are suitable to promoting volunteerism, eg Cards with words to acknowledge of the contribution of these people? Perhaps we may also include some goodies to help promote “volunteerism for the whole family”?? One common reason why people do not volunteer is that they “lack time” or need to “spend time with their family”4.

One possible…

(357 words in extract..)


..(needs to provide source to substantiate this remark)


…(needs to provide comparison between the cost of a goodies bag and the prize money in NKF show)..


..(substantiate with news report)..


..(substantiate..) -4-

2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

At the stage of journal writing, you may not have acquired the necessary depth or specific details for your ideas. But keep in view the ideas in your journal and revisit them from time to time. You may be able to provide insights into how the ideas can be pieced together as an alternative approach that your group can adopt. 1.4 Samples of InR Comment: Discusses a process which

Sample 1.4.1: InR

could be improved. Note the student

Title of Group Project: Ray Kroc: The Founding Father of Fast Food

1.Rationale of change


2.How it may impact the project

The group’s publicity efforts left much to be desired. While an advertisement to be shown on national television has been created, I felt that greater advertising efforts through other forms such as radio, mobTV5, bus decoration or street publicity could be deployed. It is crucial to ensure that the Ray Kroc Centre attracts a large crowd, especially when its preparation and execution chalking up such hefty sums, as it will not be sustainable in the long run if fast food companies make losses. Increased media coverage means that people are more aware of the existence and contribution of Ray Kroc, as well as the purpose of Ray Kroc Centre. Thus, people are more inclined to visit Ray Kroc Centre. One possible promotional approach via street publicity includes having men dressed up as Ray Kroc stationed in Singapore’s various hotspots such as Orchard Road to attract the attention of passer-bys. He should be escorted by men wearing uniform of the participating fast-food chains who will also be giving out flyers, fast food vouchers and brochures on Ray Kroc Centre. Street publicity effectively grabs the attention of the masses and creates large crowd on the streets, thus serves as an economical method of publicity to be considered. Another possible option is to have Ray Kroc-related designs painted on buses. To lower the budget, the painting needs not be executed by professionals, instead, a design contest open to students from tertiary institutes could be held, with the winning teams awarded, among the prizes, an opportunity to hand paint the buses themselves. A similar plan has been successfully carried out earlier this year by SingPost in a bid to renew the design of their post boxes at lower cost. It can succeed because artistically-inclined students highly value the opportunity to showcase their artwork and talents, and the money prizes awarded to winning designs by students are nothing compared to if professionals were employed to do the job. A design contest as such will also generate considerable buzz among the public on Ray Kroc. Moreover, the students who participate in this contest will be able to grasp some basic understanding of Kroc while doing their research to come up with the design, thus awareness on Kroc is raised and the students might also be attracted to check out our Ray Kroc Centre.

3.Specific ideas for change Comment: Follow up on previous point. Idea generation with details. Comment: This statement is intended to be evaluation of proposed idea. Actual evidence to support that street publicity is “effective” would have enhanced the depth of evaluation. Comment: Considered restrictions and proposes solution. (Idea generation)


is good that the proposed solution is something that may be managed by actual students.

Group did not rely on “sponsorships” which is an idea that does not add value in the discussion of feasibility. Comment: Evaluates feasibility using real evidence from research. Specific information provided, but student forgets to acknowledge source. Comment: This part needs substantiation.

Due to time constraints, my initial idea of organizing Ray Kroc-related talks in local tertiary institutes and universities was shelved. In hindsight, with sufficient planning, these talks would prove to be effective both as publicity tool as well as to nurture the Ray Kroc spirit, that is to say the entrepreneur spirit, in youth. Talks are also more interactive than, for example, posters or brochures, which are static and only appeal to the sense of sight, and most students tend to not pay attention to them or read their content. Such interactivity is necessary to keep the students interested in the talk and pique their interest in Ray Kroc so that they will want to visit our showcase. While posters are unlikely to elicit positive responds from most students and attract them to visit our showcase; interactive talks ensure that the students at least acquire some basic information on Kroc.

Comment: Good that student discusses objective of this specific idea with respect to the bigger plan of awareness of Ray Croc/ event.

Consistently link back to

“:usefulness to project” Comment: Discusses how advantages and disadvantages of the various publicity methods. (Analysis) Comment: Again notice how student link


Mobile Television Network for SBS bus riders. Reportedly deliver to daily audience of 1.4million. -5-

idea back to “usefulness to project”

2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

Hence, even though they might not visit Kroc Centre in the end, our most important objective of educating our target audience about Kroc is achieved. Brochures will be handed out after these talks, giving the students information on the Centre and guiding them to find out the full story about Ray Kroc and try other fruitful activities only upon visiting the Centre, thus further attract them to visit it. However, one drawback is that students might feel that they have learnt enough about Kroc and choose not to visit the showcase, since the talks and exhibition are on the same topic and might be repetitive. To prevent this, the talk will only cover a few main points about Ray Kroc, while presenters will tell the students that they can learn more details and try out interactive activities at the showcase, to attract students to our showcase.

Comment: Evaluates idea. Notice how the different ideas are consistently discussed together with some previous ideas, so that

A regret the group has is that notwithstanding fierce attempts in persuading McDonald’s officials the proposal for the modification of staff uniform was not welcomed, resulting in out original design having gone to waste. This is attributed to the fact that modifying the uniform of thousands of McDonald’s employees that has been in place for the past few decades would be costly and near impossible. In retrospect, we should not have discarded the idea straight away. Rather, we should have proposed alternatives for the enhancement of staff uniform that do not involve the costly production of new designs such as Ray Kroc stick-on, or a removable tag, or Ray Kroc-themed pins. These items can be added to the original uniform during the Ray Kroc month itself and removed afterwards and can also be sold in stores for interested customers, thus increasing revenue. This plan is thus much less costly and more likely to gain approval from the fast-food chains, judging from McDonald’s stand6.

1.The objective of “the big plan” still met 2.New idea does not produce negative consequences, contradicts or backfired on previous plans.

In this case student discussed concerns that the use of brochures and talks will make the event repetitive and made suggestions how the two can be adjusted if implemented together. (good analysis, evaluation and generation of ideas)

Sample 1.4.2: InR

Title of Group Project: Promoting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship A limitation of our proposed course is the lack of practical and first-hand experience for the pupils. Although the students are setting up businesses in their schools, it is not the same as doing that in the real world – for example the difference in the more sheltered conditions. Actually I had put forward the notion of internships in our course but this idea was shelved because of difficulties in securing internships from employers as the children are too young. Since internships are not possible, we can make use of our activity “TV Time” because visuals aid learning. When students learn visually, they tend to be more involved and learn fast and effortlessly7. This activity can be given more emphasis because the children can learn by example from the role models they see over TV – this is a convenient and one of the closest ways that can help children observe entrepreneurs at work. However too much TV would also produce negative consequences like shorter attention spans8 so I feel this should be exercised in moderation.


According to our email exchange with Ms Claudia Yeo (McDonald’s Pte Ltd, Singapore).



Suggested by Jerome L. and Dorothy Singer of Yale University, among others ur-children%3F/ -6-

Comment: Discusses limitations dues to differences in en vironment.

Comment: Provides substantiation on idea of “TV Time”. (Generation of Idea, Evaluation of Ideas)

2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

Another weakness of our proposal is that it is not tested. This is due to firstly, the constraints of manpower and secondly, the difficulty of liaising with primary schools for a class of pupils to be our test subjects as there are many restrictions involved. Because of this, we cannot therefore gauge the effectiveness of our proposal accurately. Since we are constrained in terms of resources and contacts, what we had done is to survey entrepreneurs, parents, teachers and children for them to give their opinion on the viability of our course and where children are concerned to see if our course is successful. On hindsight, I felt that we could have conducted mini lessons in small groups to pilot test our activities as we can gather a small number of children more easily – this will at least give us a chance to see our course in practice. Though the smaller scale means that it is not a very accurate gauge but it will still be helpful in troubleshooting our proposed course. Lastly, I will comment on our two ways of assessing the students – one by a feedback form and the other through their performance in setting up a booth to sell things. I feel that these might be unfair especially since for the latter method, unpredicted circumstances might crop up (like fluctuating business conditions). Just like there are calls9 for continuous assessments in our educational system instead if a one-time examination at the end of the year, I anticipate this problem surfacing with our way of assessment too and so pre-empt it by suggesting continuous tests to monitor the children’s mastery of the various entrepreneurial qualities taught in the different phases of our course. They can take the form of questionnaires or group projects. Though they may be demanding for the young children, they are effective as it means that the children have to be paying regular attention to the course. Hopefully the measures can accelerate their journey to become entrepreneurs.

Comment: Restrictions not elaborated. Why is “not tested” a weakness?? Many proposals cannot be tested . Does this alone make it “weak”?? Comment: Attempted discussion on alternatives or surveys. No evaluation if the surveys are effective or elaboration on limitations Comment: What do they hope to “see”?? What feedback do they hope to collect?? What measures do they want to record??

The lack of elaboration in this whole paragraph makes this a narrow discussion. Comment: Evaluates process/plan Comment: Elaborates possible loopholes on assessment. Evidence of thorough analysis and evaluation): 1.Elaborates effectiveness using study of existing system (analysis). 2.Suggests modifications to plans (continuous monitoring) with elaboration of ideas(questionnaire) 3.Evaluates modified plan; pros and cons (“.. may be demanding……regular attention”)


Problems and grievances with the education system in Singapore were expressed in the Singaporean drama

film “I Not Stupid” -7-

2009 PW Student Guidebook Term 4 InR

2009 NJC PW Committee

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