Develop Proposal: Topic, Goal, Global Context, Inquiry Question, Success Criteria, Process Journal

Presentation about Planning the Personal Project

Presentation about Planning the Personal Project from Managebac

9th Grade Rollout Presentation by Mrs. MacFarland and Mac


Evaluating Sources

Research Document Template

Check out some helpful links for various topics

Link to information about the Process Journal

There are three main parts to the Personal Project.


  • Identify personal passions and interests

  • Make connections to a Global Context (recommended)

  • Define a clear and meaningful goal

  • Identify prior learning and relevant knowledge

  • Establish a partnership with supervisor

  • Determine success criteria for your project

  • Develop a detailed and accurate action plan

  • Document progress through a process journal

Applying Skills

  • Develop the product outcome

  • Develop your Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills for both the learning and the product development

  • Evaluate progress in response to success criteria

  • Create the product/outcome


  • Reflect on your development as a learner considering learner profile traits and global context

  • Reflect on your learning of the topic

  • Evaluate the product in response to the success criteria

In your Google Folder and in Managebac, you will develop your proposal for the MYP Personal Project and include the following areas:

Personal Project Proposal

Step One

First step is to identify your topic, learning and product goals, global context (if applicable) and develop an inquiry question.

  • Topic

  • Learning Goal

  • Product Goal

  • Global Context (Choose One): Why are we engaged in this inquiry? Why are these concepts important? Why is it important for me to understand? Why do people care about this topic?

  • Inquiry Question

Once you have filled out your proposal in your Google doc, then please copy and paste the learning and product goal in Managebac. Click on PERSONAL PROJECT and then EDIT GOAL under WORKSPACE.


Step One

Topic: Housing for Domestic Abuse Victims

Learning Goal: My learning goal is to research what housing options are available in the Austin greater area for women of domestic abuse. I want to learn what services are available to help these women transition to a safer life. I want to understand the needs of these women in order to develop a model for what would be an effective safe house for these women. I will research what already exists for housing and will reach out to two to three Domestic Abuse organizations to better understand my target audience and their needs.

Product Goal: My goal is to design blueprints and create a 3D model of a safe house for domestic abuse victims that will be able to house 20-30 women and children. For my goal, I will consider the function of the safe house, aesthetics to make it appealing, and my target audience along with the budgetary costs for materials and layout/sizes all within the timeframe of the personal project to finish in February.

Global Context: I chose Identities and Relationships since designing a safe house for domestic abuse victims reinforces the beliefs and values in society that everyone deserves to be happy and feel safe. The safe house will focus on providing a home to help women and children connect to each other in a supportive environment and community, stressing the importance of social and mental well being.

Inquiry Question:

What design elements are important to consider when developing a shelter for domestic abuse victims, specially women and children within a specific budget for 25-30 people that will most address the mental and social well being of the audience?

Step Two

Step two will be to develop the success criteria using this template. The success criteria measures the degree to which the product aspires to attain and which can be judged against at the completion of the project.

  • Success Criteria must be...

    • testable

    • measurable

    • observable

    • evaluative of the product

    • evaluative of the impact on the student or community

  • Ideas for specific product features

    • product form

      • technique or material used

      • number of pages

      • length

      • resources/people

      • visual aspects

      • colors

      • size

      • text type

    • product content

      • target audience

      • organization

      • quality of the language

      • result achieved

Connect idea to a Global Context.

What are the Global Contexts and how do they impact the project?

Students must choose one of the six Global Contexts to provide a real-life context for, and a focus to their work. Though a student’s project may apply to more than one Global Context, he/she will have to decide which one works best. The six Global Contexts are:

  • Identities and Relationships: This Global Context explores identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human. It asks students to consider – who am I? Who are we? If a student chooses a project that focuses on people and humanity, this could be a good GC for them.

  • Orientation of Space and Time: This Global Context explores personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in humankind; discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations, from personal, local, and global perspectives. It asks students to consider the meaning and importance of “where” and “when.” If a student chooses a project that focuses on history or societies, this could be a good GC for them.

  • Personal and cultural expression: This Global Context explores the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of aesthetic. It asks students to think about the nature and purpose of creative expression. If a student chooses a project that focuses on creativity and/or aesthetics, this could be a good GC for them.

  • Scientific and technical innovation: This Global Context explores the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their needs. It asks students to consider how they understand the world in which they live. If a student chooses a project that focuses on experimentation or anthropogenic impacts, this could be a good GC for them.

  • Globalization and Sustainability: This Global Context explores the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the relationship between local and global processes; how local experiences mediate the global; the opportunities and tensions provided by world interconnectedness; the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment. It asks students to ask themselves how everything is connected. If a student chooses a project that focuses on systems or environmental impacts, this could be a good GC for them.

  • Fairness and Development : This Global Context explores rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution. It asks students to ask what the consequences of our common humanity are. If a student chooses a project that focuses on ethics or equality, this could be a good GC for them.

Developing Success Criteria

Students create success criteria for their final product. This is a list of things that the product needs to do or have to be successful. Good success criteria should be based on research. Students should be able to gather evidence/feedback to help them evaluate each specification in their success criteria.

Students may wish to use skills learnt from writing specifications in their MYP design class or when writing a lab report in MYP science to help them write their success criteria.

The success criteria, developed by the student, measure the degree of excellence to which the

product aspires or the terms under which the product can be judged to have been successful.

  • The success criteria must be testable, measurable and observable.

  • The success criteria must evaluate the product.

  • The success criteria must evaluate the impact on the student or the community.

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?

You need to create five- seven specifications for your criteria.

Example of Success Criteria

Function: A 3-6 player board game / Teaches about London

Aesthetics: TFL Branding / Metal Characters /

Safety: Toxic free dye, no sharp edges, warning label (not for age 0-3)

Size: 20 inches by 20 inches

Resources: Adobe Illustrator, product to be printed professionally on recycled cardboard

Cost: Between: $20-$35

Environmental Location: Indoor board game

Quality: Shop ready quality

Durability: Splash proof

Time: Prototype: November 14th. January: 5th

You will also add in information to gather feedback from the audience / client / user

What is Criteria?

Think of "criteria" as statements that describe the attributes you want your completed project to have. In Design class you will be familiar with the term ‘specifications’, well specifications are really the same as criteria.

Your criteria should be a condensed collection of the most important information from your research. Ensure your criteria reflect your research, and don’t forget to cite the sources where you found the information! Write concise statements that are to the point.

Tips when writing criteria for the PP

You should have between 5-7 specifications, based on themes such as:

  • Function (what your end product should do and how it should do it),

  • Aesthetics (the way you want your end product to look) ,

  • Safety (would be really important if you are creating a vehicle, toy or food),

  • Size (could be the maximum or minimum size for your product),

  • Resources (materials and equipment limitations),

  • Cost (what’s your budget?),

  • Environmental Location (weather, style, indoors/outdoors),

  • Quality (rough prototype vs professional looking product),

  • Durability, and

  • Time (when is my deadline).

Depending on the context of the project, some of the above themes may or may not be relevant, and some may be more important than others. Can you think of any relevant themes for criteria if you were creating a performance, or writing a book?

It is good practice to place your criteria in order of priority. Remember, the priority of your criteria will change depending on the context of the project.

Ensure that each criteria is SMART:

Specific – Measurable – Attainable – Relevant - Time-Bound

If you are designing something for your PP be careful not to write criteria that describe exactly how your solution will look or function, as this won’t give you much chance to be innovative or creative during the design stages of the project.


Here are some examples of well written, and not so well written criteria.


When describing the function of your end product never write things like:

  • It must work well

  • It must function correctly

These statements don’t state specifically what you want your end product to do. The criteria should explain what you want your end product to do, though not specifically how to do it, as this may stifle innovation and creativity.

Write what you want your end product to do. For example:

  • Tell the story of how my grandparents escaped Nazi Germany in 1937 and made a new life in the USA.

  • Educate people between the age of 13-113 how to reduce cholesterol

  • Reduce neck ache when using a smartphone

  • Store my jewelry collection (list the specific types of jewelry and quantity) 10 rings, 5 bracelets and 10 pendants.

  • Show people how to cook my favorite 10 recipes, which have been handed down through 5 generations of my family.

  • My painting must hang on the wall, so I must incorporate a means for hanging

  • My sculpture must be freestanding, so must have a wide base to make it stable

  • My light must be able to adjust for height and reach


When describing how you want your end product to look never write things like this:

  • My painting must look nice

  • My storage device must look good

  • My display must look attractive

These statements mean very little. You should write criteria like this:

  • My painting must harmonize with the room’s aesthetics; so neutral colors would be best to use

  • My sculpture must contrast with the furnishings of the room; so bright colors such as red, yellow and orange would work really well.

  • My display must appeal to my target audience; whose favorite colors are hot pink and deep purple.

  • My cookbook must use colors and images that evoke the French culture, so the colors of the French flag - red, white and blue should be incorporated, and famous iconic images such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe…..

  • My performance piece must use calm rhythm and movement to tell the story of courage

Dimensions, Size

If you don’t have a measurement when describing the dimensions, then you may have forgotten some important research; particularly if you are storing or displaying a specific object.

When writing about dimensions never write the following:

  • My storage device must be the right size.

  • My display device must display a photograph.

  • The space where my storage device will go is small, so I will need to make my device small.

  • My jewelry stand must be tall enough to hold my longest pendant.

These statements don’t have any numerical measurements. You must write statements like this:

  • My storage device must be able to hold 20 pencils that are 170mm long and 8mm in diameter.

  • My display device must display a photograph which is 9”x 6”.

  • The space where my storage device will go is 360mm x 220mm.

  • My jewelry stand must be tall enough to hold my longest pendant which is 525mm long, 55mm wide,

  • and 15mm deep.


If you don’t have a specific date for this criteria, or even better how many hours you have to create your end product, it is most likely wrong. Avoid using statements like this:

  • My end product must be completed by the time specified.

  • My end product must be completed in time.

  • I must make my clock quickly.

As you can see there is no actual date specified for any of these statements. Try to write statements like this:

  • My product will be completed by the 27th of November.

  • I have given myself 2 weeks to make my product, which equates to 6 hours. This isn’t much time, so my design must be very simple. I must finish by February 1st.

  • Both these statements have dates, and the last one even has how many hours you have to make your device.


When specifying the materials, the best thing to do is state the appropriate properties the materials must have for your device to function correctly, and be visually appealing. So you should write statements like this:

  • I must use materials, which will be strong and durable enough to survive normal everyday use.

  • I must use materials, which will survive being outside all year round (environmental conditions). So the materials must be water resistant.

  • I must use materials, which, will be appropriate for their aesthetic and environmental location.

  • I must use materials that require little or no maintenance.

  • I must use materials, which are easy to clean.

  • I must use materials, which will withstand an impact.

  • I must use materials, which are scratch resistant.

  • I must use materials, which are environmentally friendly. Therefore, I will use….

  • I must use materials, which are nontoxic (Particularly important for babies and toddlers who put things in their mouths or for anything used around food).

  • I must use recycled materials.

You should also give suggestions as to the specific materials that have these properties.

  • I must use materials, which will withstand an impact, such as ABS.

  • I must use materials, which are colorful and reflect light, as these will be eye catching, and attract people’s attention. Suitable materials could be acrylic, which school has in red, yellow, white, orange, and violet.


Safety can be very important when designing things for very small children. It can also be important for adults too; think of all the safety features that your family car has?

When writing criteria about safety, never write:

  • My toy train must be safe.

  • My toy must conform to federal safety codes TS-175.

  • My solution must not hurt anyone.

These statements don’t give any specific details about how you must make your solution safe. This demonstrates that you have not completed any research on safety! Your specifications must reflect the facts you gathered about safety during your research. Try to write statements like this:

  • I must not carry out any electrical work unless the voltage is less than 18v, as working with voltages higher could be fetal!

  • My toy must not have any parts smaller than a quarter, which an infant could swallow.

  • My device must be made from nontoxic materials such as …....

  • My device must not injure the user in any way, so it must have must have no sharp edges or corners.

  • My toy must conform to Federal toy safety standard TS-175 which states the following:Materials must be ……….Parts must be ………..If there are any ……….Paint must ………

Justify Success Criteria

You must tell us why you have decided on your criteria AND use your research to back it up.

Example: “After reading Beth Williams’ article ‘Rad Music Videos’ (NME, 2015) she noted that Single Ladies is so successful, because it was shot in black and white. Therefore, I decided that my music video would also be shot in black and white”

Example: “After analyzing the cost of soccer balls on Target’s website (Appendix 5) I realized that they cost between $5 and $25. Therefore, mine would cost no more than $25”

Another example

MacFarland Photography Editing Success Criteria Student Template


Criteria Template

Specifications for Your Criteria

Success Criteria for Personal Project.jpg

Research: Evaluating Sources

CARDS for website evaluation

Use this acronym - CARDS - to help you evaluate websites before you take information from them.

Note: The greater number of questions listed below answered "yes", the more likely it is you can determine whether the source is of high information quality. You can also use this guide to evaluate other sources too.

C - Credibility:

  1. Can you find the author/sponsor of the information? What are their credentials? Education? Experience? Affiliations?

  2. Can you find an "about us" or "contact us" link? Does it give more than an email address? That is, is there a phone number or postal address to contact for more information?

A - Accuracy:

  1. Do there appear to be errors on the page (ie. spelling, grammar, facts)? These kinds of errors not only indicate a lack of quality control, but can actually produce inaccuracies in information.

  2. Do they cite the sources of their information?

R - Reliability:

  1. Is the source free from any sense of bias?

  2. Is the information free of advertising or clearly separated from it?

D - Date:

  1. Is it easy to find the copyright date?

  2. Are there dates for when it was written? When it was last revised?

  3. If there are statistics, graphs and/or charts, is it clearly stated when the data was gathered?

S - Source:

  1. Is the information based on primary or secondary sources?

  2. Are there links to other sources that would score high in this CARDS evaluation?

Additionally, recognize and take into consideration the internet address domain:

  • commercial or business = .com

  • educational institutions = .edu

  • government agencies = .gov

  • military organizations = .mil

  • network resources = .net

  • organizations (non-profit and others) = .org

Excerpt from

Process Journal

Students are expected to document the process for the Personal Project and will need to have evidence to show they have developed the necessary Approaches to Learning skills as well as have shown academic integrity. Students have flexibility to choose how they gather evidence using media, written, visual, audio, digital, or a combination of mediums.

Types of evidence

  • visual thinking diagrams (mind maps)

  • cluster maps

  • pictures

  • photographs

  • sketches

  • audio material

  • screenshots of blogs or websites

  • charts

  • steps to a process

  • short paragraphs

  • notes

  • timelines or action plans

  • bulleted lists

  • illustrations

  • research notes

  • artifacts such as from a museum, performance, or gallery

Rationale for collecting evidence

Evidence is gathered throughout the project in order to ...

  • document its development.

  • provide a record of the process and accomplishments from brainstorming, development, inquiry, planning, action, and reflecting.

  • record interactions with sources e.g. teachers, supervisors, and external contributors.

  • collect helpful resources such as quotations, pictures, photographs, excerpts, charts, etc.

  • evaluate the work completed and reflect on the learning and feedback

  • ensure the academic integrity of the process