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1-1_ebook_m253_project-logs_e2i1_web987971_l3 - Mathematics...

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Mathematics and Computing: Level 2 M253 Team working in distributed environments PL M253 Resource Sheet ± Project logs 1 ±Overview The purpose of this Resource Sheet 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. 2 ± Introduction 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: 1 Factual information . 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 you 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 project log. 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 Resource Sheet , but first, how should you keep your log? 3 ± Starting a project log 3.1 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 log : 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 2.1
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them down and, having written them, it is easier to find them than to try to recall the detail. A log is an aide-mémoire that helps you remember facts, ideas, plans, data, and sources. It is not a simple recording of all the happenings of your day (as a journal or diary would be), nor is it an appointments diary. The log is for you , perhaps to share with colleagues, other members of your team, or in the case of courses, to show to your tutor. A project log (or notebook) is a place (not necessarily a physical notebook – it could be
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1-1_ebook_m253_project-logs_e2i1_web987971_l3 - Mathematics...

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