I wrote earlier about how The Suck started to descend on my class’s 20% time projects at the end of last semester: the far off deadline for the projects - April - had allowed some groups to settle into some complacency. And not-productivity.
While I was a little bothered by this, I also understood how it could happen: the deadline for these projects was so far off there wasn’t the time pressure to produce immediately.
So. Enter Doctopus! I used my favorite script to push a document to my kids that asked them to create a rubric for their productivity for the month of January. They had to reflect at the end of each Friday on what they had gotten done that day and what they needed to get done before next week.
And? What happened?
Kids were generally more productive with their time. And their reflections were honest. Painfully honest in parts.
“We weren’t as productive as we needed to be. I need to do a better job of facilitating in my group to make sure we stay on task and focused during class.” Wow. Okay. Looking forward to watching that.
“I set my goals too high for this month.” That’s a problem I’m happy to deal with.
“We got stuck in The Suck in the middle of the month.” Word: need to be able to diagnose it to be able to fix it!
Did this totally solve the problem of The Suck? No. Did things get better? Yes. In fact, I’m pushing this document out to my kids tomorrow to keep track of their productivity for the month of February.