Ron Marx

Echoing the "Time Suck" Threads

Blog Post created by Ron Marx on Mar 12, 2018

One of the final segments of the video, "Mobile Series: Discussions in the Palm of Your Hand (Biray Seitz) touched what I know is a oft-repeated scenario for me, and from many other posts here, for others too. What teachers (not just students) can "do on the go" to minimize the time suck phenomenon.


Yes, we all love creating personalized content for our students in Canvas, and yes, when we come up for air and look at the clock, wonder where the weekend afternoon went, or how those 2-hours-only after a weekday dinner turned into four. The time suck phenomenon has made me acutely aware of my students' frustration, and has kept my eyes peeled for certain features that are particularly well suited to be used on the go.


Of course, Speed Grader is the top of my teacher tools, with well composed rubrics at the center of that activity. More to the point in the video is making sure discussions or any activity, for that matter, is sufficiently chunked so students can accomplish mini-tasks in one 5-10 minute on-the-go episode. Smaller activities, with fewer objectives, satisfies the formative assessment I, as a teacher, use to make sure students are understanding the material, but also serves as a self-check for them. Using adaptive release prerequisites within a module assures their fidelity of proceeding through the lesson. That's a win-win for student and teacher alike. Maybe we can ascribe new meaning to the KISS method of creating successful, effective on-the-go assignments: Keep It Short and Simple.