Students in the Widgets course are placed into small teams of 3-5 members. These teams cannot be changed easily, so be sure to select teams carefully.
For each stage, a different team member is selected to act as project manager for that stage.
Students are assessed in part via can-do statements which are built into the simulation as "employee evaluations" on pages titled Paperwork. Within the Widgets course, other assessments may include self assessment, peer assessment, instructor assessment, and task assessment. Please see TBL Assessment in the wiki sidebar for more information.
The course includes streamed videos, which requires an internet connection to stream or for initial download. The video comprises about 15 clips which total about 30 minutes. Most video clips simulate conference calls made by Widgets executives instructing teams on their next project. These are at an authentic level of English, and are meant to be viewed for gist, at least initially. Students should watch them in teams, and then turn to each other and discuss the question, "What is the boss asking us to do?"
The video is not DRM protected, and is under a CC-BY-NC-ND license, which means that it may be copied and shared for non-commercial purposes without modification.
The watercooler chat is an optional and informal ongoing task in Widgets, helping students to get used to using English in casual situations.