So far we have checked out how staff can use Microsoft Planner collaboratively and how students can use Planner individually, so today, Day 72 of 365 Ideas for Office 365, it makes sense to show how students can use Planner collaboratively.
To see how to get students into Planner, see my previous article on students using Planner. The steps are mostly the same whether students are working on a long-term research project individually or if they are working on a group project.
Microsoft Planner for Individual Projects
For simply a long-term project, the student should create a new plan in Microsoft Planner just for that project.
If the teacher has provided a timeline of steps it will be much easier for students to turn that into a digital plan in Microsoft Planner. Like other uses for Planner, students can create buckets, or columns, to show progress on tasks. Buckets can be stages, like “New” or “Unassigned”, “Started” or “Assigned”, “Completed”, “Ready to be reviewed”, etc.
Generally they will create new tasks under the first column, and tasks will be moved from left to right as they near completion.
Microsoft Planner for Research Projects
For a research project, tasks might include finding and recording sources, creating notecards or taking notes, arranging an interview, sending question for the interview, conducting the interview, prewriting, rough draft, peer review, editing, adding media, citing sources and final draft.
Microsoft Planner for Group Projects
If students are using Microsoft Planner for a group project, it starts with one student creating the Plan in Microsoft Planner. They can add other students to the Plan by clicking on “Members” and searching for their name or student ID.
Then those other students will be able to go to Planner through their OneDrive and they will see Plan they have been added to. They will be able to edit the Plan, add and move tasks just like the creator of the Plan. They just can’t add or delete members. Alternately, if a task is assigned to a member of your organization that is not part of that Plan, they will be added as a member as well.
The biggest difference in a group project is that tasks can be assigned to individuals or multiple individuals. This makes clear to everyone on the team who is responsible for what as well as when it needs to be completed. Assigning a task connects it to the users’ Outlook accounts, so they will receive an email of an assigned task and the due date will also be added to their Outlook calendar.
Utilizing Other Views
You can also change the view to see tasks grouped by who they are assigned to instead of by buckets, or in order of due dates. You can filter by user or due date and only see those as well.
Not only does Microsoft Planner help with organization and long-term Planning, it keeps records well for accountability. It also keeps everything together digitally on the web where it can’t get lost. That means it is accessible anywhere with an internet connection, and even without the internet for students that add the app on their iPhone or Android device.