Just Finished First Week with Time4Learning
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Thread: Just Finished First Week with Time4Learning

  1. #1
    lac.ddclc's Avatar
    lac.ddclc is offline Member
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    Lightbulb Just Finished First Week with Time4Learning

    Hi. While my son and I have been homeschooling from the beginning, now that he has started high school, this is the first year I'm letting someone else determine his curriculum. After our first week using the site, I wrote an email to support to let them know what we like and what we think can use improvement. Since I've silently turned to forums for answers and to see what other parents think, I thought I'd share the suggestions from the email:


    Student Features:

    1. Odyssey Writer
    When the instructions include using a worksheet or a template, the student should be able to copy or import that file directly into the program with the ability to fill out the form in Odyssey Writer.

    2. Repetitive Intros
    Some lesson intros include a Skip button, and some do not. My son would like to be able to skip all repetitive lesson intros to save a little time.

    3. Inability to challenge a test/quiz grade
    It is very important for a student to be able to defend his position if he strongly believes his answer is correct and for the teacher to either provide an explanation as to why the student's answer is incorrect or to change the grade if the student is correct. Even if my son is correct, I cannot do a thing about it with the score report provided (more later).


    Teacher Features:

    1. Odyssey Writer
    a)I don't want to print everything, so I would like the option to save OW activities as a PDF or Word doc.
    b) It would be helpful if the OW clipboard was compatible with other clipboards, so that copy/paste would work, especially when a worksheet or template is required.
    c) Because parents do not have access to edit/submit grades, the score report is insufficient for transcript needs, leaving the work of creating a score report to the parent (which, I believe, defeats the purpose of this report being offered by Time4Learning in the first place). There should be a way for parents to submit grades into the score report in order to incorporate the grades they issue on Odyssey Writer and other assignments.

    2. Inability to correct a grade
    Another reason to give parents access to edit or submit grades in the score report is that sometimes the answer key is incorrect. If my son fails a quiz or test because he wasn’t paying attention, that’s his responsibility, and he must face the consequence of a failing grade. However, if he has a legitimate concern about a grade, he should have the ability to appeal and have it corrected if he is deemed correct.

    3. Inability to preview lessons
    I can view a lesson from the Recent Activity in my son's profile from the Parent Dashboard after he has opened it, but I do not have access to the lesson prior to it being opened under his log-on. As the teacher of record, parents should have access to all lessons our children do whether or not our children have opened it. We should not have to log in as our children in order to preview lessons. A good place to provide the link would be in the lesson plan itself. There are already links to view the OW activities. I don't see a reason why there can't also be links to the other activities as well.


    T4L Lesson Plan Preview Link Suggestion.jpg
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    Last edited by lac.ddclc; 09-14-2015 at 02:03 PM. Reason: Originally included full email, which made it way too long.

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    Hi, Leigh Ann. Time4Learning has added many things to the program at parents' requests, so thank you for the feedback. Time4Learning leases the curriculum from the developer, who only provides it to schools. Time4Learning has purchased a license that allows them to offer it to families and individuals. While they can add tools for parents to use, they can't change the program itself. They do pass user feedback on to the developer, but it does help to remember the program was developed and is updated with classrooms in mind.

    Time4Learning has added the Activity Scheduler and detailed grading guides for all of the Odyssey Writer assignments. Both of these things make a program designed for classrooms a little easier for families to use. This year, the ability to schedule breaks was added to the Activity Schedule, so keep the suggestions coming, especially if they involve helpful tools to be added instead of changes to the program itself (which, unfortunately, can't be done by T4L).

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    lac.ddclc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hearthstone_academy View Post
    "Time4Learning has added many things to the program at parents' requests, so thank you for the feedback. Time4Learning leases the curriculum from the developer, who only provides it to schools. ... it does help to remember the program was developed and is updated with classrooms in mind.

    This year, the ability to schedule breaks was added to the Activity Schedule ..."

    It's very good to know they do work with parents to improve the site. I do love that Activity Scheduler.

    Suzanne, from the support team, kindly sent me an explanation about leasing the curriculum from Compass Learning, so I understand there are a lot of things they can't do even if they want to. But I can dream.

    My son and I have found a workaround that makes Odyssey Writer assignments much easier for both of us. Now, if only T4L could add a tool that helps parents preview lessons and another that allows us to incorporate our grades into the score report, I think I'd be in hog heaven.
    Last edited by lac.ddclc; 09-07-2015 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Edited to avoid confusion because my reply intermingled with quoted text.

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