Proposal Creation is a Process.

Submitting a proposal is a two- or three-step process. This page outlines the steps Bill W. and his facilitator work through together as Bill strives to create his project proposal.

Below you can read the initial proposal Bill W. submitted to his facilitator.

Bill's First Attempt

Grade Level: 5

Subject: Science

Learner Outcomes: Students are expected to learn about the nine planets, their atmospheres, distances from the sun and each other, and their geological components.

Assessment: Students will create a HyperStudio presentation.

Authentic Student Task: Students take part in a solar system unit of study. They compare and contrast Mars, Venus and the moon and decide which one is the best choice for sustaining life. Then they create a HyperStudio presentation to share what they have learned.

Hook: This topic is of high interest for my students and the Internet will have current information about these planets.

Student Direction: Students decide how to organize their HyperStudio presentation.

Best Use of Technology: Students will be using the Internet to find information about the planets and access research we do not have in our building.

The facilitator responded with the following remarks and suggestions.


I like the connection you are making with your current curriculum. You are correct, your students will be excited to learn more about this topic. Could you be more specific in your learner outcomes?

Can you tell me how the students are directing their own learning? It sounds like you proposed the unit of study to the students and told them what they need to do. What choices and decisions will they make?

I like the assessment OF learning that you have created for your students, but what ongoing assessment have you planned to know if your students are learning and will have the content necessary to create the HyperStudio project?

What have you included to "hook" the students into the task? Although it is interesting, what need have you created to make them want to learn this content?

This topic will have a wealth of information on the Internet. The current information will certainly be there. Best of use of technology includes two-way communication or mentoring. Are there any ways you can build these two components into your project?

I hope these questions will help you refine and refocus your proposal. I look forward to reading your new and improved proposal. Please send me e-mail if you have any questions.

Jason N., Facilitator

Bill's Second Attempt

Grade Level: 5

Subject: Science, English

Learner Outcomes (based on Illinois Learning Standards): Students will:

  • Understand the fundamental concepts, principles, and interconnections of the life, physical, and earth/space sciences.
  • Know and apply concepts that explain the composition and structure of the universe and earth's place in it.
  • Understand the relationships among science, technology, and society in historical and contemporary contexts.
  • Know and apply concepts that describe the interaction between science, technology, and society.
  • Write to communicate for a variety of purposes.
  • Compose well-organized and coherent writing for specific purposes and audiences.
  • Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
  • Speak effectively using language appropriate to the situation and audience.
  • Use the language arts to acquire, assess, and communicate information.
  • Locate, organize, and use information from various sources to answer questions, solve problems, and communicate ideas.
  • Analyze and evaluate information acquired from various sources.
Assessment: I will ask the students to keep a journal of what they do each day, what they learned, and what their plan for the next day will be. I will meet with my students in small groups or individually to see what they might need to learn to be able to accomplish their next tasks. 

Authentic Student Task: Students take part in a solar system unit of study. They are expected to learn about the nine planets, their atmospheres, distances from the sun and each other, and their geological components. Students determine which planets are most favorable for human habitation.

Hook: Should NASA send its next mission to Mars, Venus, or the moon? Your class has been selected by NASA to assist in identifying the planet and location for the first planetary settlement in our solar system. The purpose of these settlements will be to mine valuable energy resources and to find new resources to be used here on earth. Each team of students will consist of an engineer, an astronaut, a geologist, and a meteorologist to research the planets and identify pros and cons for settlement on each of the planets. Your final task is to advise NASA which planet would be most favorable for human habitation using a multimedia persuasive presentation.

Student Direction: Students decide what research question about human habitability to study about the planets. Then they make a plan for how they will gather, simulate, and compare data about the planets. Students decide how to organize their HyperStudio presentation and select a scientist to communicate with.

Best Use of Technology: Students will be using the Internet to find information about the planets and access research we do not have in our building. Students will contact other students working on similar projects at the Challenger Center for Space Education. Also, they will communicate with scientists at NASA, the Weather Channel, and other sites relevant to their needs. Students will select a multimedia tool (PowerPoint, Web Page, HyperStudio, etc.) that matches the type of presentation they choose to make to the class and the scientists.

Here is what Jason said about Bill's revisions.


I like the way you extended your project to include more than one subject area. Integrating your curriculum allows you to address multiple objectives in one unit or project. You have also created a project experience with more opportunities for student choice and direction.

The task you created will be very engaging for students. Although the task is not a real-life experience for students, it is a real-life experience for the experts whose roles they will be playing. Simulations like these have been powerful learning experiences for students.

I really like the way you have included assessment FOR learning. I know that their journals will help you determine how to guide them and support them. These checkpoints will be helpful as you plan mini-lessons to teach them skills or strategies to keep progressing toward the completion of the end product of their learning.

Great job of extending your technology connections. I think the student-to-student connections are powerful and unpredictable, allowing students to become better problem solvers. NASA and the Weather Channel will be great resources for your project.

There are still many details to be worked out and I have a few questions about your project. But, it is time to focus on your scenario and drafting student pages. Get started. I think my questions will be answered as you write your scenario and flush out your project.

Good luck with your writing and let me know if I can help you.


Jason N., Facilitator

As you can see, the interaction between Bill and Jason is a process. Very rarely will the first proposal have all the elements necessary to complete a good project. Don't feel threatened. We have found it is better to offer a draft proposal and get the feedback before you start your scenario. The proposal becomes the outline for the first draft of the scenario that Bill will write. The proposal, of course, centers around the task and the best use of technology. You have probably noticed that there are several issues that Bill needs to iron out to make this a rich, engaging experience for his students. Since the proposal is intended to be short, approximately one page, it is not possible to spell out in detail all of the elements of a good project.