Mathematics and Computing: Level 2
M253 Team working in distributed environments
M253 Resource Sheet ±
The purpose of this
is to help you get started on keeping a project log.
We will explain why keeping a project log is a valuable thing to do, give examples of
the sorts of things that it is useful to put in a project log, and describe various ways in
which a project log can be kept.
The main reason why you might want to keep a project log (apart from being asked to
as part of a course that you are studying) is to support you in your work, or a specific
project that you are undertaking. You may be carrying out an experiment or survey as
a research project, developing a website or designing a new product as part of your
work, studying a course, or landscaping your garden at home. Each of these projects
would benefit from recording at least three types of information, which we will illustrate
within the context of studying M253 although the principle applies more generally:
. Recording information such as the websites you
choose to evaluate and the criteria you are going to use to evaluate them.
Development of ideas, plans and designs
. For example, at the beginning
of a team-based project, what roles do you think you will need in the team
and who do you think would be the best person to fulfil each role?
Reflection on experiences
. Suppose you have just submitted a TMA, or
completed a phase of project work. How well do
think you have done?
Could your team have done better and if so, how? What are the lessons
that you have learnt for the future? Answers to all of these questions are
useful reflections on your past experience that you could record in a
You may well have thought of other types of information that it would also be useful to
record. We will discuss what you should put in your log later in this
but first, how should you keep your log?
3 ± Starting a project log
Recording the important
In many disciplines, students and practitioners alike are advised to keep a record of
information found, information sources consulted, observations, data, results, plans,
ideas, and reflections in a
: a notebook dedicated to your work (whether that be a
project, a course, scientific observation, lab work or even scholarly research in an
archive). It has long been known that it is easier to recall things when you have written
Copyright © 2007 The Open University±
WEB 98797 1