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Pilot testing

1. Make an example

Before assigning the project to students, do it yourself. Building your own project gives you a more realistic idea of how long it will take the average student. You may decide to show your project to students as an example - or not. They will respect the fact that you are not asking them to do something you can't do.

See the appetizer assignment

Learn the technology

You don't have to become a top-level expert, but you should know the basics of how the tools work. When students ask questions, you will be better able to know where to direct them for answers. The learning experience will give you an idea of what the students will go through, as well as how much time it might take them to learn.

2. Pilot test

Do this a semester ahead. You may decide to change the project in significant ways.

Determine experience

Some students may come to you with experience and will learn quickly, but most are probably not the tech experts you think they are. Be specific when you survey them about their experience. Instead of asking if they can make a video, ask if they have actually mixed tracks together, added titles, and so forth.

Plane crash: Test pilot Lt. Harold B. Fisher critically injured and William Kraengel of Brooklyn less seriously hurt when plane crashed into garage. Valley Stream, N.Y.

Plane Crash, Boston Public Library, Flickr

Jeff Gordon Test Drive, Pepsi, YouTube