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College Instructors- how do you keep lesson plans?


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My fall teaching schedule just got really complex. I'm juggling three different courses (one is a last minute add-on that I haven't taught before, two are face-to-face and one is online), creating video content for another course I don't teach, and doing multiple versions of information literacy sessions (one for engineering, one for humanities, etc). Plus my regular duties as library director.

How do you all keep your lesson plans? My regular face-to-face classes are all on Tuesday/ Thursday, so just writing them in my planner isn't ideal.

I usually use Excel, but I don't have a plug-and-go setup for my laptop in one of my classrooms so I need to "sign in" to access everything from a shared folder. I dislike our uni's Office 365/ Moodle set up. I have to Duo every time I open up any software when I'm away from my desk. I do have an iPad.

Thoughts? Give me your best practices, please!

ETA- I use both Google and Office. My To-Do list hovers around 50 items most days.

Edited by MamaSprout
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I keep a separate binder for each of my classes that contains my lecture notes, examples, worksheets etc, in chronological order, for the semester. That's the physical item I take to class.

For the students, I create weekly modules in Canvas that contain lecture notes, homework assignments, and links to the html page for that lecture which contains all my videos and files. I dislike Canvas, but am required to use it.

I don't host my actual content in Canvas, because my experiences with proprietary systems are very bad - it all lives on a web space and I program the html surface. 

To use my files in class, I store them on a website or shared drive. Separate page for each class. Each file is named for easy finding: "lecture1.pptx", "worksheet for lecture 5 newton's law.docx" etc.

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As for to-do lists: I am doing those extremely low tech. I have a "Monday List" that contains all the tasks I have to complete every Monday during the semester: publish announcements, upload quizzes, reminder emails to graders, opening homework collections, etc. This I reuse.

On Monday morning, I write, in colored marker by hand on pieces of one-sided scratch paper, my to-do list for each of the days of that week It contains all scheduled events (class, help session, meeting) and all work-related tasks I need to complete that day.
I cross off items as they get completed and, at the end of the day, throw the sheet into the recycling bin, after transferring unfinished tasks to another day.
I like the tactile experience of the markers, the color as organizing feature, and the crossing out as visualization of accomplished tasks. Ridiculous, I know, but I haven't found any electronic app that is as satisfying.
 

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I create my course semester schedule for the syllabus for each class in Excel.  I have a binder for each class which I keep a copy of the syllabus, class roster, teaching notes, homework sets, etc.  I print out a copy of the Excel spreadsheet with the course schedule and include a wide blank column to the right to keep in the binder.  I put any notes I need to remember in that column (didn't finish covering certain material, got through problem No 11 in class discussion, need to update data in PowerPoint for next semester, etc.)  

I combine the Excel spreadsheets from all of the courses I am teaching into one large printout and hang in my office.  That way I can easily see when extra-heavy workloads are going to hit (having to make up exams for multiple classes, etc.) across my classes.  

At the beginning of each week, I look ahead to the courses for the next week, and figure what tasks need to be accomplished this week and put a post-it note for any important tasks that might slip through the cracks.  I do have some post-its that are "post quiz by Tues night" or other tasks that occur on a somewhat regular basis that I reuse.

I do not name files "lecture 3", "Oct 5", or "Homework 1"--instead I name them something meaningful for the content--FinancialStatementsLecture or FinancialStatementsHomework so that it is easier to find them the following semester and to decrease the chance of posting the wrong file to the course site.  

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