Providing Structure for Digital Work

Shared by Jonathan White

Providing structure - making it clear what form you want the completed work to be in (PDF, Doc, video, etc.) - can be the essential dividing line between a brilliant task and a digital train wreck.

In the same way that you probably wouldn’t set an assignment on “The role of the Protestant Reformation in the destabilisation of the Holy Roman Empire,” and then suggest to girls you’d be happy for them to submit their work as text, song, skit, or interpretive dance, it is generally best to set clear guidelines for digital work as well.

Including clear guidelines in the assignment, like

"Please complete an ebook of no more than 6 pages (1000 words max) in Book Creator describing the role the Protestant Reformation had in the destabilisation of the Holy Roman Empire.

Please consider including multimedia materials such as maps, images or weblinks to external content in addition to your text. Be creative, but concise and remember you must reference your sources of information. Books are to be submitted in epub format only."

will give girls the framework they need to work from to produce their best work.

By dictating what app to use and what form of evidence you want to receive (as well as the file format), you can help girls to focus on the real meat of the assignment, rather than debating with/amongst themselves whether they’d rather make a presentation in Keynote or a role play in Puppet Pals. It is also essential that you insist that they reference their sources of information.

Structure helps girls to focus their cognitive resources on generating meaningful content, rather than suffering the diner menu conundrum of having to choose from limitless options before they can even get started.

How else might girls have done it? Explain Everything, Voice Memos, Notability, iMovie… the list goes on.

The Diner Dilemma: How do I decide? I don't even know what meal I'm having, let alone whether I want to go Greek or Italian!