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Setting the groundwork for a proposal

To help you generate ideas for possible impact projects, your tutor will work with you before the impact project semester begins (during tutorial time) on the ideas generation process. This is designed to help you explore your prior learning, knowledge and interests and start forming this into a project proposal. It is important that you ask your tutor as many questions as possible about this leading up to impact project semesters so that you can get the most out of it. You will be using the material you produce in these sessions later in the year at the beginning of the second impact project semester. Guides for ideas generation are here and here.

You will be able to choose to work by yourself or in a team for your project. Your tutor and mentor can also help to link you with other people who have shared interests. You might identify some potential stakeholders and work out ways to gather and understand their points of view e.g. survey, focus groups, video conferencing. You should consider doing some research and reading around your idea, and look up recent articles on the internet or in the library so you can start to become more of an expert. During this time you will be offered support and guidance from your tutor as well as your mentor.

Eventually you will form your ideas into a proposal based on the four principles of impact projects. When presenting your proposal you will explain what learning you think will be available in the project, how it might involve other people, how will you make the product high quality and what interest there is so far for you personally.

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Case Study
Your passion is dance. After working through the ideas generation sessions with your tutor, you and a group of friends want to create a choreograph and perform a dance routine. The community coordinator for Albany is organizing a Matariki celebration and is looking for local acts that might be able to contribute to this event.

The Importance of Student Ownership and Agency

The success of your project will be largely dependent on the degree to which you are excited about what you are doing. In some projects this excitement comes right at the beginning while in others it takes time to development. Whichever of these happens for you it is really important to spend time figuring out how much potential a project idea will have. To maximise the chances that your project will be something you love, you should:

  • get the most out of the ideas generation process in tutorials
  • conduct ongoing discussions with your tutor as you research possible project ideas.
  • also do this with other people who know you well.
  • be honest with your mentor about what you like and don't like.
  • keep thinking about this during the project. If you need to refocus or find some more interest, tell your mentor AND tutor as soon as possible.

Developing your proposal

A proposal is a process of developing your ideas into and initial project plan with a mentor. Both your tutor and impact project mentor have experience with what makes projects work and will help you understand how certain tools and processes can make your project successful.

Once you have finished your initial ideas generation you will begin to clarify the focus of your project, and start to develop a picture of what the four principals might look like for your proposal. Through consultation with potential mentors you will use the proposal sheet to formulate your ideas. At the beginning of your project you may be focused on the learning or the product and your mentor will work with you to develop your initial success criteria in either or both of these areas. As your project progresses your mentor will help you to develop all four principles.

There is a proposal template that will help guide you through this stage, to make sure you have thought about all the things you need to.

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You have to get up even earlier for school to make it in time, because the traffic moves so slowly along the main road. You have asked the question ‘What can be done to improve traffic flow at peak times?’ You begin working with the North Shore Council to find out what key factors they feel need to be considered to help you explore possible solutions.

You will be given a time to present your proposal to a panel of teachers and peers. They will ask questions to help you show how you've linked your project idea to each of the four main principles. If your proposal gives enough evidence in the areas of the four principals it will be approved.

Tools for Proposals

  • Learning journey setup tutorial is [here.]