Teachers monitor the progress of their students by collecting information about learning processes and concepts while students are working on projects. By providing feedback based on this information, teachers can address misconceptions and other learning problems appropriately.
When data collected from assessments that monitor student progress is tied to timely, specific feedback, students can take more control over their learning by addressing specific areas of weakness and affirming areas of understanding and strength. Research shows that when feedback is specific, focusing on features of the task and on ways that students can improve, all students benefit, but struggling learners benefit the most (Black & Wiliam, 1998).
The table below includes an overview of the methods, purposes, and instruments used for monitoring progress. These methods help students and teachers stay on-track during a project. They help students be more self-managing as they complete open-ended tasks. They help teachers know when and where students need extra help or additional instruction. Many of these methods provide documentation of learning growth over time. Links provide more detailed information and specific examples.
Informal Observations and Anecdotal Notes
Notes from observations support teaching adjustments and provide evidence for final assessments.
Use throughout the unit during group and individual work time. Notes collected in individual or group folders.
- Notes collected in individual or group folders
- Checklists to help focus expected behaviors
| Learning Logs |
Logs are short regular updates in a project notebook, journal, or on a short form that are used with structured prompts.
Review during progress checks, in project meetings, or conferences.
| Progress Checklists |
Progress checklists are necessary where projects require students to meet specific requirements in sequence and on a schedule.
Use during team meetings or in conferences. Students use to monitor progress and help design or customize to meet their needs.
- Checklist with milestones, due dates, and approval stages
Progress reports help students to document progress or explain something new in their understanding. A report might be a rough draft, a storyboard, or data summary.
Use during key stages of a project, such as at outline or midpoint of the first draft.
| Project Meetings and Conferences Agenda |
Project meetings allow for approval or signing off on student’s readiness to advance to the next stage or milestone of a project. Use to check progress, maintain commitments in group work, and plan next steps.
Brief regular team and individual meetings throughout the project.