Project Design Jennifer Coffey OSEP June 9, 2010
C. QUALITY OF PROJECT DESIGN (0-19 points) • Describe the extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable. • Describe the extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs. • Describe the extent to which the proposed activities constitute a coherent, sustained program of training in the field. • Describe the extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. • Describe the extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies and organizations providing services to the target population. • Describe the extent to which the proposed project is part of a comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support rigorous academic standards for students.
Recommendations for Writing the Project Design • Plan with others • Define the need and link that need to the outcomes you would like to achieve with this project • Remember the law of parsimony • Ensure that all goals are connected to activities • Use a visual that encapsulates your main activities and demonstrates when they will occur • A logic model is critical!
Establish need and the outcomes that will tell you something has been accomplished to meet that need • Design activities that will achieve these outcomes • Support with budget • Support with personnel • Support with resources • Evaluation – How you will know if you have met the need
Building Blocks of the Project Design Need What do you want to accomplish? How do you know if you’ve accomplished it?
Suggested Steps in the Writing Process • Determine what you want to do • A strong conceptualization of what your state is trying to accomplish will greatly facilitate the writing of the Project Design • Have a vision • What will be different as a result of spending this money?
Planning Before Writing "A good discussion increases the dimensions of everyone who takes part." Bourne, Randolph American author (1886–1918)
Determining Goals, Objectives, and Activities • Sketch out the big picture first • A graphic representation of this will assist both your writing team and the grant reviewers • Work from the goal, to the objective, to the activity • The most simple representation of this may be the best • Grant writers sometimes put this information in bullets or tables so that it may be easily digested by the reader
Thinking about Evaluation Up Front • Reviewer Quote (RQ): “Goal 4 would be enhanced if it showed evidence of on-going evaluation and feedback to allow for modifying the program as problems are identified.”
Using Available Resources "I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Wilson, Woodrow 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)
Who Can Help with the Project Design? • State personnel who have worked on previous grants • General Education personnel (e.g., Title I) • IHE Personnel • Parent Training and Information Center Personnel or Community Parent Resource Centers • LEA Personnel, especially those who have been involved in grants • Specialists (e.g., If creating multimedia products, best to work with a production company on the section describing the activities) • Associations
Design That Inspires • "A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one." • Mary Kay Businesswoman
Think About Your Audience • Review Panel Members • Previous State Directors of Special Education • Parent Training and Information Center Personnel • LEA Personnel • IHE Personnel • What might each be looking for?
Albert EinsteinEverything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Charles MingusMaking the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. Simplicity
Describe the extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are clearly specified and measurable • RQ: “This [the criterion] is demonstrated on pp. 25-28 where detail is provided for each of the four objectives. For example, for objective 4, this project will establish Parent Advisors in selected SDs and after they are trained they will provide training, info, and support of parents and school staff, particularly with regard to parent involvement in the development of the IEP and ongoing involvement in the child’s program.”
Goals, objectives, and outcomes • Goals, objectives, outcomes • Example of a global goal: “Reform and improve our system of personnel prep and PD through a package of comprehensive strategies focused on expansion of the workforce and improvement in results for children with disabilities that will facilitate lasting systemic change
Objective and Outcome • Objective: Paraprofessional Recruitment - Establish a teacher licensure program which will recruit, enroll, support, and assist paraprofessionals currently employed in SDs to meet state certification requirements for both general education and special education. • Outcome: 120 paraprofessionals will be trained and earn licensure as sped teachers by the end of the project. • Specified and measurable?
Measurable Outcomes • Families will increase their knowledge and skills to enhance their child’s development. Or… • Families will express they have acquired increased knowledge and skills to enhance their child’s development and have used the knowledge to...
Describe the extent to which the design of the proposed project is appropriate to, and will successfully address, the needs of the target population or other identified needs. • RQ: “… implementation steps are directed to need statements and integrated into entire work scope.” • Example: “State staff and 2 universities will collaborate on resident teacher model support. This process is based on clearly established need for induction program geared up to match rural issues and culturally appropriate instructional response.”
Describe the extent to which the proposed activities constitute a coherent, sustained program of training in the field. • RQ: “[The criterion] is addressed on pages … which relates the objectives and activities of this project to the State Personnel Development plan and notes how that plan is coordinated with a number of state efforts of training.” This reviewer also notes the letters of commitment that further cement these linkages.
A coherent, sustained program of training in the field cont. • RQ: “All the primary activities are designed to extend well beyond the one-time workshop approach. The regionalized structure of the development on a common theme will help.”
Describe the extent to which the design of the proposed project reflects up-to-date knowledge from research and effective practice. • RQ: “Research used to support the design is broad and in-depth.” • It is important to use seminal research, no matter the year, but if you are unable to provide current data, explain why.
Describe the extent to which the proposed project will establish linkages with other appropriate agencies and organizations providing services to the target population. • RQ: “Many partners are involved; however, more IHE involvement would spread the efforts statewide.” • “Goals are connected internally (DOE) and externally to other agencies and organizations.”
Describe the extent to which the proposed project is part of a comprehensive effort to improve teaching and learning and support rigorous academic standards for students. • RQ: “The basis for the ___ approach is given as a realistic match for meeting the state’s needs and also connects to trainees being able to take requisite graduate courses and this is supported by all 3 universities in the state.”
Common Issues Raised by Reviewers re the Project Design • Specification of parent involvement and training • Having specific numbers/percentages for targets (e.g., # of participants) • Describing how goals will be reached (some detail) and measured • If have letters of commitment (do not have to be within the narrative), describe the involvement of their authors
Conclusion • From reading your proposal, reviewers must be able to • Have a clear vision of change and how that change will be brought about • Key points to remember • Need drives the activities • Think about what you are trying to accomplish and the quantitative questions you will be able to answer, then write simply about your vision. • Involve key stakeholders in the visioning and the writing