12. Improve a Proposed Collaboration | Guided Questions

Julee P. Farley

Collaborations are effortful for all involved. Sometimes the value to PreK-12 outweighs the costs, and sometimes it does not. This reflection activity asks those early in the process of engaging in direct contact with PreK-12 schools or districts whether a higher education personnel’s proposed project indeed provides value to the school or district in the context of what work PreK-12 teachers are being asked to do beyond their existing responsibilities. The key questions are: Is the proposed project and approach helpful for one’s potential PreK-12 partners? How might you or another from higher education adjust your approach to make this collaboration and its outputs more valuable to PreK-12 districts, schools, or teachers?

Learning Objectives

Learners should be able to:

  • Reflect on the level of effort and level of benefit of your proposed project for the school district.
  • Describe adjustments needed and how to introduce and discuss those adjustments with PreK-12 collaborators.


Please read and consider the questions and prompts below. You may choose to only think about the prompts rather than writing answers down, but writing the answers will likely provide higher quality responses and serve as a point of reference for future discussions.

  1. Articulate in a clear and simple manner the current needs of the school or district. You may describe one need or multiple needs. Describe how you found out about these needs (e.g., informed by school administration, found information on a website, etc.).
  2. Describe the value your project adds. Does your project provide a solution the school or district needs? Be specific in how much value you think your project will bring and how you are providing a solution. List specific steps and proposed outcomes when possible. Try to describe all the proposed benefits your project will provide.
  3. What work is required on the part of the teacher, school, or district to implement your project? Do you create more work or are you using existing school mechanisms that make implementing your project easy? How much time will it take to implement your project? Are special skills needed? Are unique supplies or additional funding required? Are there any drawbacks to implementation of your project?
  4. Compare the value added and benefits of your project to the work required and drawbacks of the project. Do you add little value with a lot of work? Do you solve an important problem with minimal extra effort required on the part of the school?
  5. Summarize how your project as proposed is suited to the current needs of the school district. Ideally, you should create a solution to an important problem that is easy to adopt and implement on the part of the school, but it’s important to ensure that at least the benefits outweigh the costs of implementation.
  6. If you have a PreK-12 collaborator, discuss a summary of this reflection and your solution for their input. Ask if they would like to proceed, further adjust the proposed plan, or share other feedback.


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Making Open Educational Resources with and for PreK12 Copyright © 2023 by Julee P. Farley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.