The teacher assesses the project based on the quality of the evidence gathered, the soundness of the recommendations, and the effectiveness of the presentation. The maps are not assessed as part of the team grade, but instead serve as a common reference point about causes of and solutions to the problem of traffic jams.
Several features of the tool assist the teacher with monitoring and assessing project work:
Display and discuss team maps with whole class. All student maps can be viewed and displayed from the teacher workspace. Throughout the project, the teacher leads whole-group discussion about an interesting factor or different understanding about a relationship while displaying different student maps.
Print map feature supports monitoring, reflection, or discussion between teams. The print report feature displays the most current map and all the descriptions for each factor and relationship. The teacher uses this report to monitor quality of descriptions and current understanding. At appropriate points during the project, students print maps to share with other teams in small-group discussions. They can also copy and paste their map into an interim report.
Portfolio Save feature helps document progress at important points in a project. Maps are saved using the save button, when a student leaves the browser window or logs out. In a long project, this can mean many maps (just as a writing assignment will involve saving multiple drafts of a work in progress). The portfolio button is for saving selected maps at critical stages of work, for teacher or student review. The teacher has students save selected maps to the portfolio for later review: an initial map to show prior knowledge, followed by selected maps that show new research or input, and a final map at the end.