A major reason why we started flipping was to do more cool projects.
I remember many problems that I used to have with long-term project assignments:
You can prevent all the problems above by having students produce their work in the classroom and/or computer lab. That lets the teacher check in more regularly with students to keep them on-track and on-schedule.
But when does the direct instruction & assessment occur? How do you keep the curriculum moving? If you devote a full week of class time on a project, then it seems to freeze the pace of your course. On the week after, you feel like you have to catch up and move faster through the curriculum. But remember: you have a towering pile of projects to grade. AUGH!
So this is why we flip.
Next month, my colleague and I will begin a "Constitution Museum" project assignment (more on that later). This will be a summative assessment at the end of a US government unit. Before we start the project, students will have shown proficiency on formative assessments about topics like separation of powers, federalism, etc. Therefore, even if the students' final projects are not fantastic, at least we'll know they have a solid understanding of the main ideas.
We plan to give students 2 or 3 class days to compile/research information, and 3 of 4 more days to collaborate on creating a multimedia museum exhibit about their assigned topic. The pieces should be ready to display right before the February Vacation week.
MEANWHILE, during those two weeks of in-class project work, we will assign a couple of videos to watch and learn on their own time. (These will probably be about events in Washington's presidency.) That's how we can keep the ball rolling while still providing all the benefits of in-class project production. I can interrupt a research class period for 10 or 12 minutes of quiz-taking with very little impact on the students' projects. Also I can pluck individuals out of their group for a couple minutes to discuss a deficient quiz performance.
* Okay, maybe your inner monologues are not always as dramatic as mine....