For a number of years now we have had a "Test Calendar" hanging in the faculty lounge. To allow teachers to see when others are giving tests or have intense projects. The purpose is to try to balance our students' load whenever possible.
Honestly, I am not very good at using it. I post maybe 4 tests a year (total across all of my classes) and rarely, if ever, look at it when planning for my classes.
During the past few weeks a group of teachers has piloted using an online Test/Project Calendar in Canvas. So far, that has gone pretty well. While planning, I am more cognizant of when other teachers have tests or large projects due, and I have added my assessments so that those with some flexibility have that information to use when planning. The fact that this calendar is always accesible through my computer is a game changer for me.
This week we are going to try adding all teachers to this online calendar. Our hope is that it will allow us to better meet the needs of our students, and it may help with your planning as well.
When you have an event coming up that you think teachers would appreciate knowing about (a concert, a test, a large paper due, etc.) add it to the "Test/Project" Calendar in Canvas. There is no need to create an assignment, you can just create an event right on the calendar. Name the event with the grades involved, the course, and the event. Make sure it is on the "Test/Project" Calendar, and hit Submit.
When viewing the calendar in Canvas, check the box in front of "Test/Project Calendar" (I made that course red so it would stand out to me) to view events and tests that students have going on that you may want to consider in your planning.
What to Include?
Include things that you think other teachers, that have some flexibility in their schedules, might appreciate knowing about as they are planning. Concerts that will cut into homework and study time, tests, large projects or papers that are due that students might be stressed about, etc. There is no need to include every daily homework assignment. The goal is for teachers to have more data, but not so much that it is overwhelming and not useful.
As always, please let me know (via comments here, email, or talking with me) if you have any questions or concerns so we can try to make this tool as useful as possible
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