One Page Annual Reports

A few years ago, we started running out of time to coordinate the staff necessary to create a multi-page annual report.

They are a very valuable resource, however; for reminding staff, donors and clients of your growth and successes.

So I pushed to develop one-page Infographics in lieu. Taking the stats from the end of year report that we were contractually obligated to put together for our funders, we were able to create something that was in that spirit, and for a wider audience.

2015 Year in Review

2014 Year in Review

Format your documents

In the ProfHacker stream of the Chronicle, was an article on why the instructions: “Your paper must be double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman, with one-inch margins” does our students a disservice.

It goes back to the tension between teaching content and teaching communications. Where do they overlap, and how much responsibility do you take to teach your students verbal, visual and written communications skills.

The article ends with a suggested paragraph that outlines expectations (teaching students that even creativity has it’s objectives), and I’ve got a couple of other. Why not have students format a formal term paper using the guidelines from a disciplinary journal? Format reflective pieces as a personal letter, and then short, narrative assignments as newspaper articles? Reminding students that different formatting shifts the message of the writing, and we (hopefully) create more thoughtful, autonomous writers.

A little bit of advice

When entering school, you are bombarded with fact, forms and endless lists. One of these advice posters would be a little oasis of calm.

The posters range in style and approach. Some are whimsical, some earnest. There are very specific practical posters, and broader thoughtful ones. They’re artistic and one is even interactive. I would like one myself!

PowerPoint is always there

… and so the blog PresentationZen returns regularly to the idea of creating better PowerPoint presentations.

Much of what the posting says about PowerPoint may be a reminder to you, rather than new insights, but reinforcement of good practices is not time wasted.

If you like books as a reference tool (I do!), then you can also check out this list of suggested readings.

Art mash-up

First of all, the instructor referenced in this blog posting is using a wiki for an ART101 class. It’s a place for presentations (including photographic evidence of some field trips to art museums), essays and all that administrative information produced in a post-secondary classroom.

I found the wiki though a blog posting that highlighted one of the student projects. Students were asked to recreate paintings using themselves as live models. To accomplish this, they would have had to examine the paintings carefully for the colours and details included, and position themselves accordingly for the photo shoot. They’re recreating, or mashing up the original paintings. They’re attaching what they read or hear to their interpretations of the paintings. How very hands on.