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Research Project Planner/Guide

Intuitive, Interactive, Structured
Suppose a student is assigned a major project like a research paper. Teachers frequently provide detailed instructions, checklists, rubrics and so on to guide this process, but these are relatively passive. The following document allows the student to actively track the project and see where they are, whether they are on track and what they need to do. It also means teachers can automatically track progress as well.

Step 1: The teacher starts with a planning document:

Of course, everything about this table is customizable - this are just a rough list of tasks as a place-holder. It could be adapted to any major longer-term project, not just a writing assignment. The most important thing here is that some tasks depend on completing others before you even start. This structure builds that in.

It would also be easy to make each of the tasks into links that would take to more detailed descriptions and instructions.

Once the task structure is set up as they want, the teacher just needs to set a start date, and budget how long each step should take by moving the sliders. Play with both. (Note - this is set up so that dates fall only on
work days
. It can be set to take account of holidays as well.)

Select Start Date
:
7/14/2020

Research Paper Timeline:
6
Task
Depends on:
Budgeted work days
Planned start date
Planned end date
Days available (incl. weekends)
1
Create list of potential topics
00
6
Tue, Jul 14, 2020
Wed, Jul 22, 2020
8
2
Brainstorm topics in class
Create list of potential topics
00
3
Thu, Jul 23, 2020
Tue, Jul 28, 2020
5
3
Select Topic, Write a Working Thesis Statement
Brainstorm topics in class
00
3
Wed, Jul 29, 2020
Mon, Aug 3, 2020
5
4
Get Topic and Working Thesis Statement approved by Teacher
Select Topic, Write a Working Thesis Statement
00
2
Tue, Aug 4, 2020
Thu, Aug 6, 2020
2
5
Find Primary and Secondary Resources
Get Topic and Working Thesis Statement approved by Teacher
00
5
Fri, Aug 7, 2020
Fri, Aug 14, 2020
7
6
Create Bibliography
Find Primary and Secondary Resources
00
5
Sat, Aug 15, 2020
Fri, Aug 21, 2020
6
7
Rewrite Working Thesis Statement based on Research
Create Bibliography
00
3
Sat, Aug 22, 2020
Wed, Aug 26, 2020
4
8
Make a list of Key Points
Rewrite Working Thesis Statement based on Research
00
2
Thu, Aug 27, 2020
Mon, Aug 31, 2020
4
9
Create an Outline
Make a list of Key Points
00
3
Tue, Sep 1, 2020
Fri, Sep 4, 2020
3
10
Write Rough Draft
Create an Outline
00
10
Sat, Sep 5, 2020
Fri, Sep 18, 2020
13
11
Peer-review Rough Draft
Write Rough Draft
00
4
Sat, Sep 19, 2020
Thu, Sep 24, 2020
5
12
Write Final Draft
Peer-review Rough Draft
00
3
Fri, Sep 25, 2020
Wed, Sep 30, 2020
5
13
Proof-read and edit Final Draft
Write Final Draft
00
2
Thu, Oct 1, 2020
Mon, Oct 5, 2020
4
14
Check Formatting and Citations
Proof-read and edit Final Draft
00
3
Tue, Oct 6, 2020
Fri, Oct 9, 2020
3
15
Make sure you have a working Turnitin.com account
00
10
Tue, Jul 14, 2020
Tue, Jul 28, 2020
14
16
Submit your formatted and edited Final Draft on Turnitin.com
Check Formatting and Citations
00
1
Sat, Oct 10, 2020
Mon, Oct 12, 2020
2
There are no rows in this table


Step 2: Students get customized views:

One of the most powerful things you can do in Coda is create different “views” of the same information. This can be simply different presentations of exactly the same material: a table vs. a calendar view. But you can also show only
part
of the information. Or you can add controls that
change
what you see. Or you can set things up to facilitate
actions
.

So in this set of views for the students, they can control the status of various tasks: whether nothings has been done, they are in progress, or finished. This changes what is displayed dynamically. As deadlines approach, they can get warnings of that, and the software keeps track of how far behind they are falling. But in addition to nagging functions, you can give positive feedback. See what happens when you set the start date (in step 1) to today’s date and then mark the first task “done” in the student timeline:

Tasks completed early!
6
Task
Planned end date
Completed on:
Early
No results from filter


Student Timeline:
6
Mark as completed tasks:
Reset if not completed
Task Status
Task
Depends on:
Planned start date
Planned end date
Completed on:
Days available (incl. weekends)
1
Done
Reset
In Progress
Create list of potential topics
Tue, Jul 14, 2020
Wed, Jul 22, 2020
8
2
Done
Reset
In Progress
Brainstorm topics in class
Create list of potential topics
Thu, Jul 23, 2020
Tue, Jul 28, 2020
5
3
Done
Reset
In Progress
Select Topic, Write a Working Thesis Statement
Brainstorm topics in class
Wed, Jul 29, 2020
Mon, Aug 3, 2020
5
4
Done
Reset
Not Started
Get Topic and Working Thesis Statement approved by Teacher
Select Topic, Write a Working Thesis Statement
Tue, Aug 4, 2020
Thu, Aug 6, 2020
2
5
Done
Reset
Not Started
Find Primary and Secondary Resources
Get Topic and Working Thesis Statement approved by Teacher
Fri, Aug 7, 2020
Fri, Aug 14, 2020
7
6
Done
Reset
Not Started
Create Bibliography
Find Primary and Secondary Resources
Sat, Aug 15, 2020
Fri, Aug 21, 2020
6
7
Done
Reset
Not Started
Rewrite Working Thesis Statement based on Research
Create Bibliography
Sat, Aug 22, 2020
Wed, Aug 26, 2020
4
8
Done
Reset
Not Started
Make a list of Key Points
Rewrite Working Thesis Statement based on Research
Thu, Aug 27, 2020
Mon, Aug 31, 2020
4
9
Done
Reset
Not Started
Create an Outline
Make a list of Key Points
Tue, Sep 1, 2020
Fri, Sep 4, 2020
3
10
Done
Reset
Not Started
Write Rough Draft
Create an Outline
Sat, Sep 5, 2020
Fri, Sep 18, 2020
13
11
Done
Reset
Not Started
Peer-review Rough Draft
Write Rough Draft
Sat, Sep 19, 2020
Thu, Sep 24, 2020
5
12
Done
Reset
Not Started
Write Final Draft
Peer-review Rough Draft
Fri, Sep 25, 2020
Wed, Sep 30, 2020
5
13
Done
Reset
Not Started
Proof-read and edit Final Draft
Write Final Draft
Thu, Oct 1, 2020
Mon, Oct 5, 2020
4
14
Done
Reset
Not Started
Check Formatting and Citations
Proof-read and edit Final Draft
Tue, Oct 6, 2020
Fri, Oct 9, 2020
3
15
Done
Reset
Not Started
Make sure you have a working Turnitin.com account
Tue, Jul 14, 2020
Tue, Jul 28, 2020
14
16
Done
Reset
Not Started
Submit your formatted and edited Final Draft on Turnitin.com
Check Formatting and Citations
Sat, Oct 10, 2020
Mon, Oct 12, 2020
2
There are no rows in this table

The table above can be overwhelming to students, who can panic when they see too much on their plate. It is very easy in Coda to give control over what you see, and to see only more manageable portions of information. Use the selector below to narrow down what you are seeing in the table above. You can select more that one type.

Type :
All

Part of the reason to have planning/timeline documents for students is so they can... plan! You want students to know what is coming up and what they have to get done and by when. However, this requires that they pay attention to these documents and keep track of them and their progress on them. When this information is in a form accessible to a software platform instead of a plain text document, it can be used to automatically create reminders, alerts, and so on. On Coda, these could be set up to send actual notifications, but I am not implementing that here.

So here are a number of things you might want the student to be aware of: (In order for these tables to show anything, go back and set the starting date for the project (step 1) to about a month ago.)

Tasks you should have started:
6
Task
Planned start date
Task Status
1
Get Topic and Working Thesis Statement approved by Teacher
Tue, Aug 4, 2020
Not Started
2
Find Primary and Secondary Resources
Fri, Aug 7, 2020
Not Started
3
Create Bibliography
Sat, Aug 15, 2020
Not Started
4
Rewrite Working Thesis Statement based on Research
Sat, Aug 22, 2020
Not Started
5
Make a list of Key Points
Thu, Aug 27, 2020
Not Started
6
Create an Outline
Tue, Sep 1, 2020
Not Started
7
Write Rough Draft
Sat, Sep 5, 2020
Not Started
8
Peer-review Rough Draft
Sat, Sep 19, 2020
Not Started
9
Write Final Draft
Fri, Sep 25, 2020
Not Started
10
Proof-read and edit Final Draft
Thu, Oct 1, 2020
Not Started
11
Check Formatting and Citations
Tue, Oct 6, 2020
Not Started
12
Make sure you have a working Turnitin.com account
Tue, Jul 14, 2020
Not Started
13
Submit your formatted and edited Final Draft on Turnitin.com
Sat, Oct 10, 2020
Not Started
No results from filter

Tasks you should have completed:
6
Task
Planned end date
Task Status
1
Create list of potential topics
Wed, Jul 22, 2020
In Progress
2
Brainstorm topics in class
Tue, Jul 28, 2020
In Progress
3
Select Topic, Write a Working Thesis Statement
Mon, Aug 3, 2020
In Progress
4
Get Topic and Working Thesis Statement approved by Teacher
Thu, Aug 6, 2020
Not Started
5
Find Primary and Secondary Resources
Fri, Aug 14, 2020
Not Started
6
Create Bibliography
Fri, Aug 21, 2020
Not Started
7
Rewrite Working Thesis Statement based on Research
Wed, Aug 26, 2020
Not Started
8
Make a list of Key Points
Mon, Aug 31, 2020
Not Started
9
Create an Outline
Fri, Sep 4, 2020
Not Started
10
Write Rough Draft
Fri, Sep 18, 2020
Not Started
11
Peer-review Rough Draft
Thu, Sep 24, 2020
Not Started
12
Write Final Draft
Wed, Sep 30, 2020
Not Started
13
Proof-read and edit Final Draft
Mon, Oct 5, 2020
Not Started
14
Check Formatting and Citations
Fri, Oct 9, 2020
Not Started
15
Make sure you have a working Turnitin.com account
Tue, Jul 28, 2020
Not Started
16
Submit your formatted and edited Final Draft on Turnitin.com
Mon, Oct 12, 2020
Not Started
There are no rows in this table

New tasks you will need to finish in the next x days:


Set number of days (x)
00
9

Task
Planned end date
Task Status
No results from filter


Note that each of these tables is active: the “task status” can be changed here, and it will change everywhere else.

It is also really easy to create a calendar view. Honestly, by itself this is not the most useful thing. BUT if you imagine that this calendar would be populated with all the other things a student has to do, for this class and others, then you are starting to get something that is transformative.

Research Paper Calendar:
6
Today
August 2021
MonthWeekDay
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday



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