In January 2012, I proposed an addition to MIT's faculty rules. Over the past few semesters, I’ve been very focused on increasing my productivity and effectiveness. I’ve described a lot of what I do here in Working out a System. This proposal comes from thinking about how to streamline my system.
The idea behind the 1 pg sheet for assignments and exams comes loosely from the Toyota Production System’s “kanban” As I am thinking about it, a kanban is a single page sheet that describes an upcoming assignment or exam. You can print each of the “kanban”s and manage the stack of paper to know what is coming up. You can sort and organize the papers to plan how you are going to do the assignment and study. My style is to be very organized, but I think it could also help less-organized people work better.
I think it could help anyone - from the very organized (like me) or the not-so-organized.
For each assignment a separate file should be posted to the course website including:
- The name of the assignment
- A description of the work included in the assignment
- Any requirements such as page length or formatting
- The date the assignment is due
- The location assignment is due or where it should be uploaded to
- The grading criteria or the criteria for a successful assignment
- The date the file was first issued.
- If any revisions have been made, the date of the revision and the nature of the revision (ie added a section, clarified some criteria, changed a requirement) should be specified
At least one week before an exam, a file should be posted on the course website including:
- The date, time, and location of the exam
- The length of exam
- A list of material covered on the exam
- Either a list of topics or a list of lectures/recitations/readings
One week before an exam, two (2) distinct practice exams should be posted on the course website.
- Practice exams should be formatted like an actual exam
- Including leaving space for students to do calculations
- Include any formula sheets that will be provided on the exam
- Solutions should be available as a separate file/page
- If appropriate, practice exams solutions should include the steps/work necessary to arrive at the solution. The steps should be sufficient to allow a student at the 25th percentile of the class to reconstruct the solution without additional assistance.