Personal Project Documentation and Curation

One of the significant changes in the new personal project is the transition from what was called the ‘process journal’ to ‘documenting the process’. This post breaks down the what, how and end result of just what ‘documenting the process’ means and what this can look like in action.


So, what does it mean to document the process? 

Simply put, to document means to record something as a means of providing evidence. In the case of the personal project, students record – or document – evidence of the process of achieving their learning goal and their product goal.  

The process of the personal project, although interactive and not entirely linear in nature, simply begins with planning, then applying skills and reflecting. Students therefore gather evidence of each stage of the personal project and document this to create a body of evidence that makes the process of the project visible.


As our students progress throughout the personal project they can document the process in a variety of ways of their choosing.

With the emphasis on process documentation, students can choose from a variety of platforms and mediums that best serve the needs of their learning goal and product goal. The focus is not so much on a sole platform of medium, but rather a variety of ways of documentation that truly allow the student to make the process visible. 

What might this look like in action? 

Let’s use this example of a connected and interdependent learning goal and product goal as means of unpacking just what documenting the process might look like.

End Result?

In order for students to create an effective report they will need to curate their documentation of the process. Curation simply means to select, organise and present documentation. Therefore, students need to select, organise and present the evidence of having achieved their learning goal and product goal in their report. 

When curating their documentation students can use the following questions as their guide:

  • Have I selected evidence that shows a thorough (detailed and carefully completed) process
  • Have I selected evidence that shows a complete understanding of each stage of the project?
  • Have I selected evidence that demonstrates how knowledgeable I have become as a result of achieving my learning goal
  • Have I selected evidence that shows my ability to independently transfer knowledge gathered in my pursuit of the learning goal and the ATL skills I have selected to the creation of my product goal

When students have then curated evidence using the guiding questions above, students might then use the modified SortConnectElaborate Visible Thinking Routine to respond to the Criterion B: Applying Skills part of their report. 


With the emphasis on documentation and curation, our MYP students are given a unique opportunity to truly become project managers. 

Thankfully the days of students filling in workbooks of scaffolds, even digital ones, are behind us and we are able to support our students in using the myriads of tools at their fingertips to independently manage a sustained project. 

Helpful Resource

A wider variety of strategies for optimal personal project documentation and curation can be found in the Hodder Education 2nd Edition of Angela Stancar-Johnson and I’s book, Skills for Success: MYP Personal Project. In addition to a print copy, there is also the eBook available.


Morrison, K., Ritchhart, R. and Church, M. 2013. Making Thinking Visible. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.

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