For the last two years, I’ve been developing the Homework Calendar, a structure that aids student wayfinding. I’m using Canvas, but this structure could be duplicated anywhere. This is not the same as the Assignment Calendar in Canvas, which would require me to set up separate Assignments with their own Due Dates — that’s too much overhead for a largely in-person class.

Many of my students have the HW Calendar bookmarked rather than the course home. Since most of my students do homework assignments on paper which are not tracked in the LMS, this was the simplest way to share. Low effort, high impact.

First, let’s look at HW calendars for two units from October and November:

Design principles:

  • Label all updates if changing content after the page is published. The most recent update is always highlighted and older ones simply retain the title “update”. Consider adding the date and/or time depending on your environment.
  • The unit packet is shared below the homework calendar.
  • Never remove text but rather strike through to make changes more visible.
  • Train students to reload the page at the start of homework time so that they see updates.
  • Perhaps you noticed both assigned and due dates listed? It comes from differences in how that info is shared by some of my colleagues. Rather than choosing a side, I share both.
  • Copy/paste the HW calendar from my lesson planning spreadsheet.
  • Never post the HW assignment on the board during class so that there’s never a conflict. Students keeping paper planners are encouraged to write “Yes, it’s on Canvas.”

When we turned the calendar over to 2022, I decided to share what we did in class with students because the omicron wave of COVID-19 hit my campus hard. Sooooo many students missed class in those first few weeks that I needed a place to share videos I recorded (in class or just after class) or actual work we did in class. The page is getting more complicated and I don’t think I’ll keep the structure, but here you go:

Want to read more about wayfinding for course design? Check out “Six Key Design Elements of Successful Online Learning” from Global Online Academy. I’d love to see how you share your homework with students, too!