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Notre Dame mark


Before you start a pilot test, determine how you will know whether it was successful.


  1. Examine the products - are they technically good? Do they show a depth of content understanding?
  2. Check the test results - do exams provide evidence that students learned what you wanted them to learn?
  3. Survey or questionnaire - ask students how they felt about the assignment, what they learned technically and content-wise.
  4. Focus group - ask a colleague to interview students about the assignment.

Potential student survey items

  • Time - how many hours did you spend?
  • Work load - how appropriate was the load, given the project's role in the course?
  • Skills - how long did it take to learn the media skills required?
  • Instructions - how clear was the assignment? how clear were the expectations at the start?
  • Rubric - how much did the rubric add to understanding the assignment?
  • Relevance - how well did project goals relate to course goals?
  • Evaluation - how fairly were you graded?
  • Feedback - how helpful was the instructor feedback you received?
  • Summary - should this be repeated next semester? should other instructors use this kind of project?

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

SoTL is scholarly research on student learning in order to advance the practice of teaching.

SoTL resources

Action research 

Conducting research on a project in which one is actively involved is often called action research. The goal is to improve strategies, practices and knowledge. Kurt Lewin, a professor at MIT, coined the term in 1944.