Teacher's lesson notes. Where to start?

Obsidian is so powerful, I sometimes find the lack of constraints a problem.

At the moment, I have a number of notes:

  1. Notes on each student
  2. Notes on each class
  3. Notes on each lesson
  4. Notes on each topic; such as what topics were in which lesson

I think I need a template for each lesson linking to each student in each lesson. Each lesson then links into a record for each class.

No, wait! I should start with a class and then add a lesson note for each lesson with which students actually attended.

No, wait! Students keep changing classes so I should start with each student and then link that into a lesson, and then log that lesson into a class log!

No, wait! I don’t want to reenter data. How can I include topic notes into a class log?

This sounds like a situation for graph view. I’ve started with notes on each student but I doubt my choice sometimes as I’m reentering data now.

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I might start as below.

Student Card

  • Static Fields
    → name
    → ID
    → contact info
  • Linked Fields
    → class 1
    → class 2
    → …
    → Meeting/Note 1
    → Meeting/Note 2
    → …

Meeting/Note Card

  • Static Field
    → date
    → notes
  • Linked Fields
    → Student
    → Class

Class Card

  • Static Fields
    → name
    → academic year + semester
    → notes
  • Linked Fields
    → (students)
    → (topics)

Topic Card

  • Static Fields
    → class(es)
    → … topic information …

Lesson Card

  • Static Fields
    → date
    → class
  • Linked Fields
    → topic(s)

I would use a spreadsheet to track the static information for students and to administer a lesson plan. I’d develop topics in the equivalent to Word or PowerPoint. This leaves Obsidian (or something else) to handle the meeting notes with students and the class notes.

Hope this gives a better ground for you to build upon.


JJW

6 Likes

Just a quick revival of this thread. I would like some input on how teachers/professors structure their courses in hierarchies. I often try to brain dump this issue, start to build and then becomes uncertain and start over again. I teach the same courses every year, and I would actually very much like to have everything started in Obsidian before creating Word/Pages or PowerPoint/Keynotes-files. They can come afterwards, if at all needed.

I guess my courses contains:

  • The course itself (some overview page)
  • The syllabus and the literature list
  • The obligatory hand-ins or obligatory seminars or oral presentations
  • The lesson plans included material I use to cover the topics in each lesson
  • The topic notes

I guess these are the “static” containers or the template for the course, because each term I could go in an change a little bit in the material or the seminar or whatever - You get the point. So therefore there needs to be lesson plans for the actual lessons from that term. So there is another structure based on the term that looks like:

  • Course + term note
  • Lesson notes from the term (dynamic, but based on the static lesson notes from above)
  • Logs, questions, notes and tasks that come up in the actual lesson

I hope I make my self clear here, because this is not at all clear in my head. I sometimes see other professors or teachers that seems to reuse the same static template for each term, but it doesn’t feel quite like that is how i teach. Some inputs on this would be very much appreciated.

EDIT: I don’t have student notes and rarely meeting with students notes, so these are not counted in my hierarchy above.

2 Likes

FWIW, I use the Finder (macOS … whatever the equivalent is in Windows) to establish and manage my folder hierarchy. I use Obsidian and other applications to create or manage document content within the folders at appropriate locations. I do not replicate folder hierarchies from the Finder level exactly also in Obsidian.

Perhaps if I was using only Obsidian to do everything, my approach would change. My course documents however contain a mixture across five or more different applications. Blending content output from some applications into Obsidian, ostensibly so that Obsidian could be a “Finder replacement”, is far more trouble than is worth the effort.

Otherwise, how you set up your folder structure is a matter of personal preference regardless whether this is for academic teaching or real estate management or small business operations. Here is a snapshot of mine for one course …


JJW

3 Likes