This is an overview of a learning process I do in my psychology class, based on Google's 20% time concept. It incorporates project and passion-based learning; it's differentiated for CONTENT and PRODUCT; it promotes critical-thinking and creativity, and, most importantly, it allows the students to learn what they want to learn within the scope of the discipline. It can be adapted for any grade level and/or subject area. You are welcome to use and adapt any and all ideas and resources below.


You can use one or a mix of these for the process.


Any of these steps could vary between grade levels, subject area, and nature of the project. This is a fairly structured process within an academic context presented below, but it could be less so depending on the nature and scope of the learning situation.
  1. Count how many lessons will be in the time period (quarter/semester/year) in which the project will occur and multiply by .20. (e.g. 40 lessons x .20 = 8). This is how many class lessons/periods you set aside for the project.
  2. Student generates topic based off of personal interest/passion; teacher conferences with student and approves topic. (GD) (FB) (DB) [FORMATIVE]
  3. Student generates research question(s); teacher conferences with student to help refine the scope and quality of the question so that it leads to a critical/creative thinking process and will fit the time frame of the project.
    (GD) (FB) (NT) (DB) [FORMATIVE]
  4. Student begins the investigation and research process - collaborate with librarian (GD) (NT) (DB)
  5. Student presents research findings to date. Could be in the form of a annotated biblography (high school) or other note taking process. (GD) (NT) (DB) [FORMATIVE]
  6. Student continues and refines research process. S/he should be close to generating a conclusion to the research question. (GD) (NT) (DB)
  7. Student chooses which type of product s/he will create to show the findings of his/her investigation. (GD) (FB) (DB)
  8. Student produces an outline and/or storyboard, receiving feedback from peers and the teacher. (GD) (NT) (DB) [FORMATIVE]
  9. Student creates a complete draft within their chosen product type, receiving feedback from peers and the teacher. [FORMATIVE]
  10. Student submits final product! [SUMMATIVE]

Click for Psychology Personal Project Overview


Students choose the type of product through which they will present their learning. The only condition I set is that the product has to be technology-based in the sense that it will allow for creativity in design, layout, and/or organization. Unless a student gives a very compelling reason, I typically don't allow a standard research report since that doesn't really allow for creativity as stated before. Most of the process described above develops traditional research skills already. Product types could be (but aren't limited to):
  • Website (on a blog, wiki, Weebly, other Web 2.0 web page building site, Dreamweaver for super techies)
  • Magazine-style article (templates or from scratch in Pages or MS Word/Publisher; Adobe InDesign)
  • Audio Podcast (Garageband, Audacity)
  • Video Podcast (iMovie, MovieMaker)
  • Enhanced Podcast (Garageband, iMovie, MovieMaker, Photostory)
  • Documentary/Special Report Video (iMovie, MovieMaker)
  • Screencast (Prezi, PPt, Keynote recorded with Quicktime, Jing, Screenflow, or Camtasia)
  • Oral Presentation in TED Talk style (Prezi, PPt, Keynote, promoting engaging, Presentation Zen-like talk)


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Website PP Example.png

Video Presentation

Enhanced Podcast

Magazine Article