I’ve thought about what I would ideally like to achieve in terms of organisation of teaching materials.
- Be able to keep a student or intake-cohort centred structure, but be able to understand what other materials are relevant to them at any one point in the context of their year of study.
- Keep material which is is more broadly relevant from year to year separately (e.g. general admin info, plans for sessions, resources they can access, etc.). This material may apply to all students, or be specific to students currently in a particular year of study. It also may change from year to year (e.g. the dates/times of tutorial for 1st years change each year). In some cases, it is useful to keep a record for previous years in case students need to resit years/exams and we need to know what training/lecture material they received.
Currently, (i.e. pre-JD), my structure for tutorials looks something like this:
Admin / # general stuff relevant across years
Year 1 resources / # student resources, tutorial plans specific to students in Y1 of study
Year 2 resources / # ditto for Y2
Year 3 resources /
Year 4 resources /
2019 intake / # student-centred: all students entering in Oct 2019
Student A / # assessments to comment on, correspondence, reference letters etc.
Student B / # ditto
The problem is trying to link the YearN resources to the student centred resources. Plus, (small problem, I know but my mental arithmetic is terrible!), if I’m looking for Student A’s folder, I know they are currently in Year 3 but I have to mentally calculate which ‘intake’ year they are in by counting back. It’s just a bit of extra mental friction.
Organising material relating to modules of teaching is usually a bit simpler, and something like this:
Module XXX /
General resources / # stuff that applies every year
Course creation documents / # official forms and docs relating to module set up
2019-2020 / # material taught last academic year
Module admin / # study guides, course descriptions, timetables etc.
Lecture 1 / # finished presentation file, notes, reading lists, assets etc.
# also notes on improvements for next year.
Lecture 2 / ...
Practical 1 / ... etc...
Assessments / # material relating to assessments across module
Annual review / # module assessment forms, feedback, annual
# review forms, changes to be made for next academic year.
2020-2021 / # same structure
This looks like (and is!) a lot of repetition, but every year at exam time we get requests from the teaching admin team to know if a particular set of exam questions is suitable for a repeating student who took the module in 2017 (or whatever). So I need to be able to go back in and see exactly what they were taught and assessed on in that academic year. I do now tend to write my presentations in org-mode and Beamer and version control the source files in git, tagging with the year, so I can easily check out what was taught in a particular year, use
diff to find out what I changed, but not all material can be treated like this.
I hope that clarifies what kind of material I’m dealing with and what I need to be able to do with it. Thanks for any advice you can provide!