The Basic OutlineFor the first year or so, in each course, I had a whole unit on one document. It was nice to have ALL the information for the unit on one page, but it was very clunky-looking, especially when accessed on phones.
I have all but abandoned this format, precisely because of the clunkiness, but I do miss having the "on-task" bar - this is a graphic I would move down the document as we progressed through the unit, indicating where the students should be time-wise. This bar really kept students on task, and helped them better manage their time.
Making it PrettierWhen I started trying this with my Physics class last semester, I kept the same idea of Learn It/Practice It/Know It, but I put each learning goal on its own page. That allowed me to make it prettier overall, but also allowed me to distinguish between the different types of resources.
It wasn't as easy to see the whole unit at a glance, but I like the cleaner layout. Links to all the learning goals for the unit were found on a master page that the students had access to through the course website. I found this worked very well for my grade 11 students.
Ideally, each learning goal (hence, each page like this) could be completed in one class, but of course that didn't always happen. Regardless of how quickly the learning goal was mastered, I found that students would tend to stop for the day when they got to the end of the page. With the previous layout, students would just roll from one learning goal to the next. Possibly because of this, I did find that the overall pace of progressing through the material slowed noticeably.
Senior CoursesFor my grade 12 Data Management course, I wanted to give a little less direction when it came to looking at resources, so I changed the above format to the following:
It's a bit of a return to the original design, but I kept each learning goal on its own page. I also put what they had to hand in at the top of the page instead of at the bottom. The students would almost always start with my note to see what to focus on, and then move to other resources depending on their preference for learning, before starting the assignment or practice questions.
The Bigger ConceptsIn grade 9 general science, I found it wasn't as easy to break the content down into stand-alone learning goals, so I sorted the learning goals into lessons, each designed to take more than one class to master.
I provided MUCH more structure for the younger students, who tended to always jump right to "what-needs-to-be-handed-in" before even watching videos or reading up on the material. This class also struggled with documenting any of their learning, so more instructions were included on how to approach a new topic, take "notes," etc.
While I love the more visual layout the tables provide (that idea came from @MrHoggsClass), I dislike how cluttered the page is becoming again with the extra instructions and support.
It doesn't help that this is a large class, and it feels like the best way to get information/instructions out to the students is to put everything on the page everyone will read. Or hopefully read. I think they tend to gloss over most of it, and they still try and jump right to the assignments.
Thoughts?As I'm turning my thoughts to a new school year, I'm looking to improve on what I've experimented with so far.
What do you think?
Which of these appeals to you?
Which would appeal to your students?
Is there another format I can consider?
If you do something like this in your class, how do you set things up?
I'd love to hear your feedback!