All classes on Skillshare must have a project component. Projects help students practice new skills as they learn and provide a great opportunity for sharing and feedback.
In this article:
- Choosing a Project Idea
- Writing Your Project Description
- Adding Project Resources
- Class Project Examples
- Go Further
Choosing a Project Idea
An accessible, relatively quick project can motivate students to practice new skills and share their work. More student projects posted to your class’s Project Gallery lead to a more vibrant class community. And if you position your project example prominently in your class it can help attract students to learn from you!
A top-notch project should:
- Be easy to start. Students are more likely to start and complete a quick, lightweight exercise than an intensive, complicated project. That said, intensive or complex projects are OK too — you may need to consider ways to break it down in stages and encourage sharing so students can get feedback along the way.
- Be relevant. Projects should connect to the class topic.
- Promote independence and creative thinking. Your class project should be a way for students to practice the skill you’re teaching in a fun, tangible way, not simply be step-by-step instructions for how to make a specific thing. As you plan your class, think about how your lessons will build a foundation of skills and knowledge so that students can apply and experiment with them in their own ways and make their final projects their own.
- Encourage engagement. A project should be shareable. Encourage students to upload their projects to the Project Gallery and to comment on each others’ projects. You can also incentivize engagement by regularly leaving feedback.
Writing Your Project Description
Follow these best practices to write an engaging and easy-to-read project description:
Summarize the Project in Your First Sentence
The first sentence of the project description is always visible below the class description on the About tab of your class, but students must click “Read More” to see the rest. So try to include enough information in the first sentence to clearly explain the project and pique your students’ interest.
Clarify the Steps
Outline the steps students will take to complete the project. A numbered list can help!
A wall of text can be intimidating. Short paragraphs, bulleted or numbered lists, and bold or italicized text (where appropriate) can organize information in a digestible way. You can also insert relevant images, but additional attachments are best uploaded as a Resource.
Define the Final Deliverable
Ensure students understand what you’re asking them to upload to the Project Gallery.
Adding Project Resources
You can add a template, worksheet, or additional supplementary material to make it as easy as possible for students to get started on the project. These additional materials can be uploaded to your project as an attached file (click the Attach a File button, which will appear to students as a Resource next to the project description in the class.
Class Project Examples
Take a look at these Skillshare classes to get a sense of how these teachers craft a clear and engaging project:
- Top Teacher Ira Marcks’s class, Cartooning: Drawing Faces and Expressions, summarizes the project right at the top to help students jump in quickly. He has also included a list of suggested materials and a handy PDF download that students can refer to while they complete the project.
- In her class, Designing The Life You Want: 4 Exercises for Clarity and Motivation, Muchelle B walks students through four different reflection exercises that they can complete as they watch the videos. She’s also provided a downloadable workbook that students can print and use while they take her class.
- In Top Teacher Dan Dan Liu’s class, Document Your Adventures: How to Film and Edit a Travel Montage, she asks students to create a 1-3 minute travel montage and share it in the project gallery. While Skillshare’s platform doesn’t allow for students to upload video projects directly to the platform, they can post a link to a video hosted on YouTube or Vimeo.
- Top Teacher Dylan Mierzwinski’s class, Illustrated Journaling: 14 Days of Prompts, follows a “multi-day challenge” format. Each of her lessons outlines one of fourteen short illustration projects which students are invited to complete and upload some or all to the gallery. Dylan reminds students that they’ll need to update their project over time if they want to share more than one of their illustrations from the challenge.
- Make Your Business Class Stand Out: Creating a Top-Notch Class Project: This blog post offers some suggestions and project examples from teachers who teach classes in business, entrepreneurship, and more.