I call students to the gathering area. I tell them that today I will begin collecting data from them on the process of their learning during their curiosity projects. I will be doing this through a Google survey. Students can write as little or as much as they would like, but the more information you give me, the more I can assess their process.
Students can work on the survey at the same time if you have access to a computer lab or computer cart with one-to-one access. However, I quite often have students cycle through on the classroom computers during read aloud, quiet reading, or other free time in the classroom.
Student responses get better over time. There are always the minimalist responses, but some students give in-depth responses. Examples are attached.
I call students back to the gathering area. I tell them that these responses were an important part of the learning in the project. Many of them understand it and begin to realize that the product is really not the important part of the project, but the deep learning that comes from curiosity is.
We talk briefly about final artifacts. Students understand that it is not necessary to spend a huge amount of time on the final product. It is merely an artifact to show the learning or the final product of their learning. Many students opt for a powerpoint presentation or a poster board.