11 Design: Project 1: Criterion A
Selecting a project
In considering project ideas, plan on having three weeks of class time dedicated for Criterion C. That’s 8 hours of in-class time plus whatever out-of-class time you wish to dedicate to the project. That time allowance should a guiding influence as to the expected scope/complexity of your project.
Some ideas to help you find a project:
- Try reimplementing an existing project. Much as how beginning musicians start by covering songs other people have written, it might be good to start by re-implementing programs others have made
- Try connecting programming to another hobby. Programming is a very useful skill in that you can apply it to a wide variety of fields, even ones completely unrelated to computer science. For example, if you’re interested in politics you could try analyzing voting pools and trends, if you’re interested in music you could try writing a digital soundboard, if you’re interested in sports you could try writing a fantasy football tracker or predictor… Having interests beyond computer science is useful here.
- Try connecting programming to another subject. Use your programming skills to create something that could be useful for one of your other subjects, a graph generator for Math or Science, a grammar quiz tool for English or French, or something else. It could be something that is just useful or interesting to you, or perhaps something worth sharing with that subject teacher or your classmates.
- Try keeping track of things that irritate you. If you find anything in your life that you dislike doing or find repetitive, ask yourself if it’s something you could automate. To get a sense of what sorts of things computers can automate, see Automate the Boring Stuff. This guide uses Python, but you can do all of the things it mentions using any programming language. Or, perhaps try googling “home automation tutorial” for more physical solutions.
- Some places to start for project inspiration may include:
While I am open to the idea of project pairs for Criterion C, I prefer the idea of independent projects and would need to be convinced of the merit of a proposed pairing with detail as to the complexity of the project and the equal allocation of programming tasks between partners.
Time considerations for project 1
Due to the limited time for project 1, we will modify Criterion A as follows. These instructions override those under the headings below.
- A1: In light of the above, for now, skip strand A1 (since you don’t have a “problem” to solve yet) and start at A2.
- A2: Identify the questions you want answered from this research process. What questions+answers will help you come up with a good project? Justify the inclusion of each question.
- A3: Research into project ideas. Prepare brief notes (including citations) on each idea you have looked at.
- A4: Should be a brief but coherent summary of what you learnt through your research into project ideas, and some recommendations/guidance for moving forward.
Strand A1: Explain a problem
- What is the problem? (is it legitimate or “ticking the box of MYP”?)
- For who is it a problem?
- Identify and describe your client or target audience.
- If using a target audience instead of a client, describe one or two typical members of that audience. Help us get to know them (their likes, their lifestyle, their demographics)
- Why is the problem, a problem? (provide reasons)
- Why is solving this problem important? (justify your reasons, provide evidence)
- What is the impact of this problem being solved, compared to it not being solved?
Strand A2: Identify research
- Generate 6 to 10 research questions What do you need to learn/know (that you don’t already know) to be able to solve this problem?
- Rate your questions from 1 for the most important, to the least important.
- Provide brief comments explaining your rationale for each prioritisation.
- Find the answers to your questions.
- Provide citations for the sources of your answers.
Strand A3: Analyses existing products
- Identify at least 3 sources of inspiration that would help you solve the problem.
- What has someone else made that solves (or attempts to solve, or partially solves) the problem? It could be the same problem or a similar problem. Their solution may work really well, or not at all. The idea is to learn from what others have tried before you.
- A picture, video, or detailed written description of the inspiring products has been provided
- The source (citation) for your inspiring products have been provided
- What are the strengths of your inspiring products?
- What are the weaknesses of your inspiring products?
- What ideas can you take from your inspiring products?
- What else can you learn from your inspiring products?
Strand A4: Design brief
- Summarise what you learnt from Strand A2 that helps you understand and propose a solution to the problem?
- Summarise what you learnt from Strand A3 that helps you understand and * propose a solution to the problem?
- Based on what you have learnt, what guidance/advice would you recommend to anyone attempting to solve the problem? (meaningful, relevant, based on your research to date)
- Any additional sources to cite?