Part of the problem with the final project seemed to be a lack of direction. "What are we supposed to do?" one of our school's straight-A students wanted to know. I had given some requirements regarding the research part, but not too much about what the wiki was to look like. I had suggested text, links, photos, video, but basically had told them to use their imagination about what to include to present their topic. "Think of the wiki as a canvas," I said. If this were the final project of an art class, I wouldn't tell them what to draw.
So, I tried to go back and add some guidelines about what I would be looking for. I still wouldn't tell them exactly what to put on their wiki. I have to admit, I am sort of muddling through this. More research needed, but that probably won't happen until the summer!
During a work day recently, I saw one pair sorting through a pile of papers that turned out to be a survey they had done in a sibling's middle school relating to their topic of violence in schools. A great idea! And totally their own.