As the end of an academic year approaches,
one of the most important discussions to be had with colleagues
(or yourself, if you are
a ‘lone teacher’) is about next year’s
Scheme of Work (SoW). As part of this discussion, I feel
are a number of fundamental questions that need to be asked:
Do you deliver the course next year in the same way that
you did this year?
Do you use the same ‘running order’ or
do you change the orderof topic areas to be covered?
Do you cover coursework in a Stan Laurel way (‘long and thin’ -spread
out over, say, a term) or an Oliver Hardy way (‘short and fat’ – done
in a two-three week blitz)?
Do you need to revise or completely re-write any handouts used?
Do you need to update any weblinks you direct students towards?
And so on…….
Whatever the results of this discussion, the outcome should
be a (fairly) comprehensive SoW. But, and this is what this article
is really about, what format does that SoW take?
Yes, the students should have a paper copy to put in their folder,
and, yes, there should be a copy of it available via your Bb
Course Site so that late enrolments and those who lose it can
download copies for themselves without chasing you to photocopy
one for them…
BUT…it seems like a lost opportunity not to take advantage
of the technology by simply posting a static copy of the SoW
on your Bb Course Site.
After all, by simply inserting a few bookmarks and hyperlinks
into a document, (and if you do not know how to insert bookmarks
and hyperlinks into a Word document then this viewlet shows you
how) you can make it interactive and so direct the students straight
to the resources that you want them to use to tackle the work
that you set them.
These resources can include files on their Blackboard Course
site, or other Blackboard Course Sites if the students are enrolled
on them, (to do this you need to get the ‘Absolute URL’ of
the file you want to link to…ask your Bb Administrator
how to get this), NLN materials located on your content server
(if you have one), external websites and the online library catalogue
for textbooks. All of this is shown in this example of an interactive
SoW. (Note: the inserted links are dummy ones – but
they give you an idea of how an interactive SoW functions).
This interactive SoW was produced using Word, but if you
have the software and the skills, there’s no reason why yours
couldn’t be a series of connected web-pages rather than
an interactive Word document. You could also insert images as
well as/instead of text into your Scheme of Work. This may be
useful when working with students with reading difficulties.
One final comment….
using an interactive
SoW is one way of embedding the use of ILT into your course,
something which OFSTED and ALI Inspectors
are increasingly looking for…so why not make a start