Journal Activity 17: Developing specifications/Criteria

Now that you have set your goal, defined the global context for your project and started your research – you need to transfer this into criteria for the success for your project.

In order to develop criteria for your project you need to develop a set of specifications for your product/outcome.
When creating your specifications ask yourself the following questions:
  • How will I know when I have achieved my goal?
  • How can I judge the quality of my product/outcome?

When creating your specifications you can consider the following options:
design specifications.png

You will need to refer back to the specification throughout the project, particularly when developing ideas and evaluating the solution. The following Table demonstrates poor and good examples of design specifications. Remember that these should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and testable.

Poor and good examples of design specs.png

Before writing your own criteria, you can complete the activities in the Practice Developing Criteria Worksheet to become more familiar with writing good specifications.

After you've completed the practice worksheet above, copy and complete the worksheet below in your process journal to develop your own criteria for your product. You need to create a minimum of five rigorous specifications for your product.

Journal Activity #17: Design Specifications/Criteria


planning i.jpg

Journal Activity 18: Developing Detailed Action Plan
In your process journal create a timeline with short term and long term planning and notes to plan your Personal Project.
Your timeline needs to include the following:
  • due dates for each segment of the Personal Project
  • meetings with mentor (check the calendar)
  • research collection and analysis
  • incremental stages for the completion of your product/outcome
  • draft of report
  • final copy of report
  • submission of whole personal project – process journal, report and product/outcome.
As you progress through the creation of your project, ensure you document your progress and how you are keeping to your plan in your process journal. Refer back to your research plan in journal #12 to complete your action plan. You can review ahead to phase 3-5 using the navigation menu on the right to see the tasks/steps coming up for each phase, and add steps/actions appropriately to plan accordingly. Some action items and dates have been pre-filled for you. Add additional rows as needed to accommodate for your planning. Make sure to come back and check the last column of the action plan as you complete each step/action.

Journal Activity #18: Action plan


Criterion B_planning.JPG

Journal Activity 19: Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is a useful tool to help you organize your tasks and manage your time. It is a popular tool that is used in projects to show activities (tasks and action steps) displayed against time. It is a tools you can use to demonstrate your time-management skills, as described in criterion B, strand iii below.

Using the actions steps/tasks you created in your research and action plans, organize your tasks in chronological order on the Gantt chart. An Excel template is available in the Google drive folder at, however you may use the printed template in appendix B on the back of your printed handout. On the left of the chart will be a list of the tasks and along the top is a suitable time scale. Each task will be represented by a bar; the position and length of the bar reflects the start date, duration and end date of the task. This allows you and your design teacher to see at a glance:

  • What the various tasks are
  • When each task begins and ends
  • How long each task is scheduled to last
  • Where tasks overlap with other tasks, and by how much
  • The start and end date of the whole project

To summarize, a Gantt chart shows you what has to be done (the tasks) and when (the schedule). Below is a sample Gantt Chart.

Gantt chart example.png
  1. Begin by adding all the tasks/action steps from your research plan and action plan in the task column of your Gantt chart in chronological order.
  2. Indicate the start and end dates of each task by shading in the appropriate weeks for when you plan to complete each task. You may use different colors for each task, or group of tasks.
  3. Remember that you will need to submit your product, report and process journal to your design teacher on March 30, 2017!
  4. Place the Gantt chart inside your process journal and refer to it as you complete your project to stay on task.

Journal Activity #19: Gantt Chart


planning iii.jpg

Journal Activity 20: Student Reflection (criterion A&B)
In order to make sure you are on track for your Personal Project, evaluate your progress in Criteria Areas A and B on the Personal Project student-self assessment worksheet posted below.

For each Criterion, indicate your score by writing it in the comments/reflection section, write the rationale for your score. The task-specific criterion is included in the worksheet to help you with your scoring. Be honest and specific in your responses, and be prepared to discuss and explain your responses with your mentor. Any trouble you have responding to the following statements or low achievement level in any criteria may indicate an area on which you need to focus.

pdf format or printing:


Google spreadsheet format

Journal Activity 21: Mentor Meeting reflection
Before you move on to phase 4, meet with your mentor and make a journal entry reflecting on the meeting. Some things to reflect on include:
  • What was biggest takeaway from the meeting?
  • What advice did your mentor give you? Are you making good progress with your project?
  • What are your next steps?

> Phase 4: Reflecting and Taking Action