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brueckert
Community Champion

Tips for structuring courses with a large number of assignments

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Hello all,

There are some teachers at our school who have created courses with a very large number of assignments with separate groups for in-class work, homework, labs, projects, and summative assessments. When you have at minimum one assignment for every day of the school year, the assignment list tends to get quite large. Besides being cumbersome to sort through, the assignments page loads very slow due to all of the entries. They are ready to go rogue and use a different tool to manage their courses due to the slow response time.

Has anyone else experienced this? Right now I'm thinking of having them put their materials in a combination of pages and modules, but I'm interested in other ideas people have. How have you structured your courses or trained others to structure their courses in these instances? Do you have any institutional requirements on how your courses are put together or what features are used?

1 Solution
clong
Community Champion

I'd echo everyone's suggestions to use YouTube or (Zaption if you want to get better analytics and get interactive) to embed video content. I'd also recommend using Modules to organize the course and hiding "Assignments" in the Course Navigation.

You might want to steal some ideas from Home Sweet Homepages without Tables​ to create a really nice home page with buttons to your modules.

Also beware of the 184+ Assignments bug.

Module item selector limited to 184 assignments:

When attempting to add assignments to a module, if you have over 200+ assignment in one assignment group you can only see the first 183 assignments of that particular group.

Workaround:

Move the assignments that are not seen in the list to a new assignment group and you can then add them to a module. You can move the assignments back to the original group once they've been added to the module.

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10 Replies
sshumway
New Member

If there are video clips, try embedding them in youtube and just loading links.

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dkeddie
New Member

We do the same as Stuart Shumway suggested.  Save the videos somewhere else and link in. Our students are typically using their Google Drive accounts for storage.

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ehills
Community Participant

I do not use the assignment list at all. I use Modules for each unit that my students are working on. It stays far more organized in that way. I use the Modules as the home page for my course as well. The assignments list doesn't sort very well in my opinion so I wouldn't use it as an option. We also clear everything out each quarter so that only assignments they can still work on are available.

stephanie_pope
Community Champion

We show assignments through the modules view- like Eric. Under settings, you can "hide" the assignments view. We also use the indent feature to help visually organize the module view.

KristinL
Community Team
Community Team

LIke  @ehills ​, I rely on modules. I am able to divide everything (homework, pages, discussions, activities, and projects) by unit. Of course, students could still go to the assignment tab, but overall, I feel like my students liked the consistent organization of modules.

With your labs, do students submit more than one assignment at the same time? If so, you could have students submit multiple files to a single assignment and click through the files in SpeedGrader.

clong
Community Champion

I'd echo everyone's suggestions to use YouTube or (Zaption if you want to get better analytics and get interactive) to embed video content. I'd also recommend using Modules to organize the course and hiding "Assignments" in the Course Navigation.

You might want to steal some ideas from Home Sweet Homepages without Tables​ to create a really nice home page with buttons to your modules.

Also beware of the 184+ Assignments bug.

Module item selector limited to 184 assignments:

When attempting to add assignments to a module, if you have over 200+ assignment in one assignment group you can only see the first 183 assignments of that particular group.

Workaround:

Move the assignments that are not seen in the list to a new assignment group and you can then add them to a module. You can move the assignments back to the original group once they've been added to the module.

brueckert
Community Champion

Thank you for the feedback everyone. Part of the problem for the particular class that prompted this post is their "in-class work" assignment group. Obviously there is an assignment in this group for every day of the school year, most of which do not have submissions. I'll push more faculty toward modules next year; this won't alleviate the complaints against a slow loading assignments page (by faculty), but such is the life of a tech coordinator and instructional coach I suppose.

Since I don't want to end on a sour note...GO CARDINALS!!

ehills
Community Participant

Use calendar events for in-class work that doesn't have submissions. It won't make a corresponding assignment. Unpublish modules as they are completed. That will alleviate all of your concerns.

Eric Hills

6th Grade Health/Social Studies

Digital Learning Coach

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brueckert
Community Champion

Can calendar events be imported into a new course? They built this out in a master course for five teachers to share.

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ehills
Community Participant

Sorry, Brian! I was on vacation. Yes, you can export calendar events. When they import the course from a master course, all events (calendar events) and due dates will come over to each of their courses. I highly recommend that route. Have fun!

-Eric