M5_1 Principles of project management:

•    Introduction to project management
•    Project management of school projects
•    Project management resources

Short description of activities

This is the first section of the wider ‘Project Management’ module, it is therefore an introduction to the section and based mainly around a presentation. To introduce the project management theme there are also three activities in this first section:

Agenda for a planning meeting in your school
This first activity is related to ‘planning’ and is small group work with the cohort ideally divided into 5 groups as the presentation and handout provide a choice of 5 different planning meetings.  Each group is expected to put together the agenda for a partner meeting as follows:
Group 1: The annual bi-lateral exchange of older students (two weeks) aimed at improving their language skills
Group 2: A new joint curriculum project on sustainable development involving 6 schools in 4 countries
Group 3: A school development project looking at sharing good practice in the teaching of ICT Group 4: An eTwinning project (10 schools) on famous artists
Group 5: A job shadowing programme for language teachers
A nominated group member reports back to the whole group. The presentation provides a concluding slide. There is also a handout listing all of the planning meetings (slides 2-6).

Intercultural scenario
The second activity is an intercultural scenario: ‘one member of the partnership lacks language skills’. The scenario and its feedback questions are integrated into the presentation. A nominated group member reports back to the whole group (slides 7-8)
Note: All the scenarios used in the course are also described on a handout.
‘‘The project uses English as a working language but one of the schools always sends the Headteacher to project meetings whose language skills are ‘survival’ at best. As a result this school is constantly misunderstanding the project’s tasks.’

Planning for communication
The third activity is ‘Planning for communication’; the slide is used to stimulate small group discussions supported by a handout. A nominated group member reports back to the whole group. (slide 13)

Main learning outcomes

Participants
•    Understand some basic project management terminology and theory
•    Appreciate the value of management systems to school based projects
•    Know how to access information on all aspects of project management

Materials

Presentation (PPT): M5_1_1_Project Management (first section, slides 1-13)
Handout (to enable participants to record their information): M5_1_2_Agenda for a project planning meeting in your school – what items do you need to include?
Handout: M5_1_3_Intercultural scenarios
Handout: M5_1_4_Planning for communication
Additional planning tools: websites (slide 12)

Time

About 30 minutes for the activities plus extra time for feedback.

Tips

The planning activity does depend to a degree on prior experience – some groups may not include any teachers who have experience of work experience placements for example. In these instances the groups can all work on the same partner meeting or only on a selection.

The intercultural scenario is best addressed on a whole group basis with individuals providing ideas and solutions to the problem. This activity should be used with sensitivity especially if there are members of the cohort who are themselves struggling with following the course due to limited language skills.

The communications activity is a useful way for the facilitator to identify participants with high end ICT skills.
Additional planning tools (websites), if time permits the facilitator may choose to review one or more websites listed on slide 12.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

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