Here is a tutorial about creating a Dashboard. You’ll need some experience in Powerpoint to understand the tutorial, but it also teaches a lot of simple tips that many regular Powerpoint users aren’t aware of.
Examples & Shares
Since posting this, I have been asked about sharing my own dashboard. I’ve experimented with a few, so I am putting them in a folder to share, but many of my own have images related to our school as well. My favorite creation is the Yerba Mate that I added to my desk this year, so it is in the folder as well. I created an ending slide that shows the Mate finished up. All files are found here: Dashboards
What’s it about?
As my traditional students enter the room, they see something like this:
And as my online students check the announcements, they see something like this:
In the classroom, the Dashboard is on the screen letting students know the objectives, warm-up, word-of-the-day, homework, and upcoming due dates.
Online, it presents a clear picture of what needs to be done each day and where to find things. I found that online students frequently skim the page so I wanted to make my announcements more “skimmable”.
And it’s quick and easy to update! I created an overall design, then saved it as an image, like this one, which was customized for a friend. :0)
With the image as my background in Powerpoint, I just drag and drop, or modify text as needed before the next class session. For example, I move the homework from tonight to the box for what needs to be turned in, and the next quiz is dragged from the upcoming dates text. Then I add in any new homework and change the date. I have a full list of what needs to be turned in throughout the quarter, and then I just remove items from the list as they happen.
Please share your image in the comments if you make a Dashboard of your own! I’d love to see more designs. And feel free to ask if you run into any problems making it.
Important Note: A Virtual Classroom Dashboard is designed for visual learners. Online, it is very important to also include a link to a text only document listing all of the same information in a clear and precise manner.
Making the Dashboard meet Accessibility Guidelines: If the background is saved as instructed in the video, then the only objects on the slide are text boxes. A screenreader can read these for students who use one, but you may need to check the reading order first. To do this, I always pull up the Selection Pane and review the list from bottom to top, which is the order in which it will be read.