Projects are the bulk of an OpenClassrooms learning experience. This is where the students prove that they've learned the necessary skills, which allows students to earn our degrees.
How does the assessment process work?
Projects might take several sessions to finish and it's up to you to track their progress. You will stay up to date on their skills and progress, making sure to leave notes in their profile. These notes will also help you decide an appropriate time to schedule the presentation, which needs to be planned in advance.
When the student starts nearing the end of the project (approx. 2-3 weeks before the end), sign up the student for a project presentation by creating a card on the "Project Presentation Candidates" Trello board. A second mentor will take over for one session in order to perform this project presentation. Before the student presents, try going through a mock presentation to make sure the student is ready and comfortable.
Once the presentation has been assessed you then get back in touch with the student to move onto the next project.
Your student is almost ready to present
Great! Let's get the ball rolling. Remember, you will need to request a project presentation 2-3 weeks before the target date. To do this you need to create a card in the Trello Board "Project Presentation", as in the example below. Please fill out all missing fields and a mentor will then be assigned for this validation session by the OC staff.
It is imperative that you prepare your student for the presentation by explaining how this is done, both in substance and in form.
Using the mentor guide
Sometimes reading a project brief may not be enough to clarify what is expected of the student.
One of the main ideas behind project-based learning is to immerse students in realistic professional settings. With realism sometimes comes ambiguity. While this ambiguity is often a desirable difficulty in order to build skills, it can create undesirable frictions in the mentoring experience.
Therefore the mentor guide is for mentor’s eyes only.
There are Assessment Rubrics for each project, which present each skill, it’s associated deliverable and what this deliverable should look like.
Some projects also include Mentoring support notes, where we’ve added :
ideas of extra resources, external to OC, which are needed to complete the projects,
common pitfalls which students may face in completing the project
information help you correct one or more of the deliverables.
These documents aim to align and facilitate communication between mentors and the OpenClassrooms teaching team, in order to provide the best possible learning experience for students.
You will find a collection of tips and good practices to help you support students, as well as a clarification of the expectations regarding skills to validate based on the deliverables presented.
For assessors only
On the defined date, the student will present their project to you, the assessor. Their goal is to show that they have understood the project by presenting it in detail. He or she will have to answer your questions as if you were the client.
The project presentation is a very important moment, so make sure you prepare your student for it and to send a reminder of when it's coming up. You're going to be the one recording a project presentation, remember that it should be recorded in optimal conditions (sound quality, image quality, no pixelation or connection problems) because it'll be watched by a jury once the student completes the path.
Setting up the appointment
As an assessor, you can choose the type of session you need to schedule.
In the case of a presentation session, you will have to "Plan a session" in the OC platform.
Choose the student that will be presenting (by selecting his name in the defined list)
Then enter the date and time of the session. Voilà, you can validate!
In your dashboard of the sessions, the forthcoming presentation will appear in the "Scheduled" tab like the other sessions, with the mention "Presentation":
Project presentation format
The project presentation will be filmed and given to the jury members at the end of the student's path. It will have the following format:
20 minutes of the student presenting their work (this might be in the form of a role-play)
10 minutes of Q&A about the student's work
Why is it crucial to respect this order and to film both parts?
Professional skills: respecting presentation time is a necessary professional skill. Customer or team appointments are often limited in time, so knowing how to respect peoples' time is important. Being able to discuss and advocate for your choices (technical or other) is a critical skill.
Jury organization: the members of the jury have many files to study and must be able to analyze projects easily and efficiently. Your questions should therefore be essentially at the end of the presentation during the Q&A section. These questions could be about technical choices, budgets, deliverables, etc. or feedback about the presentation itself (quality of the student's performance, attitude, quality of the deliverables, etc.). It's better to ask your questions at the end, but if you need to ask one or two during the presentation, just be careful not to take it into account to estimate the presentation duration.
Template of the format
1. Start of the project presentation (not filmed - 5 mins)
You must extend a warm welcome to the student and introduce yourself
You provide a recap on the complete terms of the project presentation by specifying the duration for each stage.
2. Student’s presentation of the project (filmed - duration based on project brief)
You are able to "play a role" and stick to it
While respecting the ethical framework of the project presentation (playing a role must not allow for overdoing it or any wrongdoings)
You manage to let the student speak without remaining passive. For example, you are welcome to use reminder words or phrases ("Very good","Thank you for this first part" etc.)
3. Time for Questions and Answers (filmed - 5-10 mins)
You know how to ask relevant questions and pick up on the student's answers where necessary
You are able to verify that the student knows how to justify their choices. (We know that the student can find all validated projects online and cheat. The important thing is that they have understood what was being asked of them and they how to explain it. It is your role as an assessor to check their understanding and real acquisition of skills.)
You succeed in challenging the student on their soft skills (professionalism, self-confidence, humility). For instance, you can note whether the student understands the limits of their project; whether they answer "I don't know" rather than providing the wrong information.
5. The debrief (not filmed - 5 mins)
You must debrief the student for a few minutes by giving them your initial feedback
You can tell them right away whether or not they have validated their project. But it is not mandatory, you can also take time to think and announce the verdict later (within 24 hours)
End of the project presentation.
What to do (and what not to do) during presentations
Let's go over what to do or not to do in a project presentation.
To do: dress well (both you and the student) and be in well-lit conditions with a good webcam. The final jury needs to see the student's face in the recording to be able to prove his identity.
Not to do: participating in the presentation in pajamas, in a badly lit room, eating chips. Same for the student.
To do: ask open-ended questions that encourage the student to respond in detail with something other than "yes / no". Example: "Can you explain how you built the project schedule?"
Not to do: ask easy questions to which the student would only have to answer yes or no. Example: "So you made a schedule adapted to the constraints of the project?" "Yes."
Preparing Assessment Notes
To do: make a few comments at the end of the presentation on the student's file to summarize your thoughts and thus help the jury get to know the student. Try creating a Summary, Things to work on, and an Overall impression.
John did a fine job on his presentation. Overall he was able to complete the project as required and the site looked great. We did have a few issues with deliverables and execution and I have provided him with the following notes:
Things to work on:
Pay attention to the deliverables - try creating a check list to make sure you have completed all requirements
Detail your process and let us know why you have made certain choices. The jury will not be able to ask these questions after the fact
Don't hesitate to add some creativity to the project by adding in more variety to page designs and product descriptions. This will really give the site the finishing touches and will look very professional
One last point, if you haven't already done this course I highly recommend completing "Build your site with HTML5 and CSS3"
Good work! Your enthusiasm for web development is clear and am sure you will make for a fantastic developer one day!
Not to do: leave no comment on the presentation or writing a very short comment that doesn't give any detail.
Example: "Good job".
Recommended template for assessment notes
Please use this template to make sure that your assessment covers all the key parts from the project deliverables to the presentation delivery. It is also invaluable for the student and the jury to get insight into the level of the skills the student acquired during the project.
Provide an assessment of the student's work and, if the project has to be reworked, write a few lines about the criteria the project does not currently meet
Assessment of the project deliverables against the project criteria
Assessment of the student’s delivery of the presentation and whether they meet the presentation guidelines
Assessment of the student's newly acquired skills
Explain at least one core strength of the work the student has done so far
Explain at least one area in which the student’s work needs to improve
What are the different outcomes of a project presentation?
Once the student has presented their project, you need to assess if they acquired the skills and decide whether or not the project has been validated.
There are 3 possible outcomes for a presentation:
Project Validated: the assessor immediately approves the project on the platform.
Conditional Approval: the student has, according to the assessor, done a good job. However, the assessor wants the student to make small changes to their projects so that it meets all the assessment criteria. In this case, the assessor refuses the project (“to be reworked”) and specifies that the project is conditionally approved. The student has 48 hours to upload new deliverables. Once the files are on the platform, the assessor validates the project without doing a new presentation. They copy the sum-up from the first assessment and detail the work that has been done in order for the project to be approved.
Project to be reworked: the student hasn’t acquired the required competencies linked to the project, it doesn’t meet our assessment criteria. The assessor marks the project “to be reworked” and specifies the parts of the projects that need to be improved. The student will then need to have a new project presentation in order to validate the project.
Completing a presentation
If all goes well, the assessor will be able to validate the student's project directly on OpenClassrooms.
You can then display the dashboard of the student on your browser and select the project to validate:
From the student's dashboard on OpenClassrooms, select the project to be evaluated.
Next, on the project page, you can fill out all the necessary fields to validate the project (do this immediately after the project presentation in order not to forget).
The project presentation must be recorded. In order to do this, create a private, direct YouTube link with the student. This will create a private, unlisted YouTube video.
The assessor must clearly indicate the URLs of the presentation video and project files.
Moreover, in order to better manage the presentation files, you should name the presentation video file with the:
Example: Frontend_Presentation_Jane_Doe_Analyze client needs (Project 3)
At the end of the process, a validation will show up on the student's project page that will contain the mentor notes.
If the assessor thinks that the project presented by the student isn't quite satisfactory, they will indicate that the project is "to be reworked". In this case, comments become even more necessary. The assessor indicates what is to be redone and will set up a new presentation as soon as possible.
Your last action as an assessor is to complete the session in your dashboard in order to finalize it.
In your history, your sessions will appear like this:
Taking things back over (original mentor)
Once the presentation is validated, you (the original mentor) will get back in touch with the student. If all goes well, you'll only have been briefly out of touch; just the amount of time for them to do the project presentation. ;)
It's up to you when to continue! You can proceed to the next course or directly to the next project if the student is ready.