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  • Noa Lipton
  • |
  • December 12, 2018
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Your students are starting to think about what classes they’ll need to take next year to achieve their aspirations. You want to help them navigate their prerequisites and course selections so they transition smoothly — but with all the guidelines, requirements and forms to complete it can feel a bit overwhelming for everyone involved.

Online course planning that integrates with your college & career planning software can help both you and your students better negotiate this process. A fully integrated solution makes selecting courses more meaningful for students because they can easily see how it aligns with their post-secondary goals. Plus it’ll save you hours of administrative work because you’ll have accurate graduation tracking and validation all in a single spot.

Getting course planning integrated and online can also be incredibly easy. Noa Lipton, an Onboarding Manager at Xello says there are four key things to plan for if you’re thinking of doing this in your school or district.

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Before offering online course planning to your students, be sure you and your team have a good grasp on courses being offered. Understand graduation requirements and prerequisites that have been established by your board or district.

According to Noa, the easiest implementation happens when “whoever is responsible for implementing a course planner tool at your school is extremely comfortable with all your course information.”

Courses should be organized, clearly labeled and already outlined in a guide or other document — complete with names, codes and descriptions to help make upload experience go smoothly and ensure it matches what you have offline.

Caption: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, conseur adipiscing elit. Morbi euismod aliquet.

Getting course planning integrated and online can also be incredibly easy. Noa Lipton, an Onboarding Manager at Xello says there are four key things to plan for if you’re thinking of doing this in your school or district.

Section 1

Before offering online course planning to your students, be sure you and your team have a good grasp on courses being offered. Understand graduation requirements and prerequisites that have been established by your board or district.

According to Noa, the easiest implementation happens when “whoever is responsible for implementing a course planner tool at your school is extremely comfortable with all your course information.”

Courses should be organized, clearly labeled and already outlined in a guide or other document — complete with names, codes and descriptions to help make upload experience go smoothly and ensure it matches what you have offline.

Section 2

“I see a lot of false starts when it comes to online course planning when the right people aren’t involved,” explains Noa.

It’s important that those most familiar with your school curriculum are leading the charge. They’ll be able to easily validate information and answer key questions — resulting in a faster upload and integration of your courses without unnecessary back-and-forth.

“Generally we work with Guidance Counselors for individual schools or smaller districts, and Curriculum or Guidance Directors for larger districts. It doesn’t really matter who it is, as long as they’re the authority in course planning and curriculum for the account” says Noa.

I see a lot of false starts when it comes to online course planning when the right people aren’t involved…
I see a lot of false starts when it comes to online course planning when the right people aren’t involved…

Alternate Pull Quote

Once your course information is implemented, don’t feel you need to flip the switch for all students immediately.

According to Noa, “a good system should allow you the flexibility to test course planning out with smaller groups first — to help validate that it’s working as intended.”

In addition to testing course planning out with demo student accounts in your program, Noa recommends isolating a specific grade or small segment of real students and inviting them to try out the course planning function before wider release. You’ll be able to see how the information looks in a live environment, how it integrates with your other systems and make tweaks and changes so it’s clear and easy to use for everyone.

“Testing with a smaller group helps make sure any changes you do need to make only impacts a few students. You’ll have peace of mind that things are working the way you want before it gets released to every student”.

Section 3

Once your course information is implemented, don’t feel you need to flip the switch for all students immediately.

According to Noa, “a good system should allow you the flexibility to test course planning out with smaller groups first — to help validate that it’s working as intended.”

In addition to testing course planning out with demo student accounts in your program, Noa recommends isolating a specific grade or small segment of real students and inviting them to try out the course planning function before wider release. You’ll be able to see how the information looks in a live environment, how it integrates with your other systems and make tweaks and changes so it’s clear and easy to use for everyone.

“Testing with a smaller group helps make sure any changes you do need to make only impacts a few students. You’ll have peace of mind that things are working the way you want before it gets released to every student”.

  1. Bulleted Section 1

    Before offering online course planning to your students, be sure you and your team have a good grasp on courses being offered. Understand graduation requirements and prerequisites that have been established by your board or district.

    According to Noa, the easiest implementation happens when “whoever is responsible for implementing a course planner tool at your school is extremely comfortable with all your course information.”

    Courses should be organized, clearly labeled and already outlined in a guide or other document — complete with names, codes and descriptions to help make upload experience go smoothly and ensure it matches what you have offline.

  2. Bulleted Section 2

    “I see a lot of false starts when it comes to online course planning when the right people aren’t involved,” explains Noa.

    It’s important that those most familiar with your school curriculum are leading the charge. They’ll be able to easily validate information and answer key questions — resulting in a faster upload and integration of your courses without unnecessary back-and-forth.

    “Generally we work with Guidance Counselors for individual schools or smaller districts, and Curriculum or Guidance Directors for larger districts. It doesn’t really matter who it is, as long as they’re the authority in course planning and curriculum for the account” says Noa.

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  3. Bulleted Section 3

    Once your course information is implemented, don’t feel you need to flip the switch for all students immediately.

    According to Noa, “a good system should allow you the flexibility to test course planning out with smaller groups first — to help validate that it’s working as intended.”

    In addition to testing course planning out with demo student accounts in your program, Noa recommends isolating a specific grade or small segment of real students and inviting them to try out the course planning function before wider release. You’ll be able to see how the information looks in a live environment, how it integrates with your other systems and make tweaks and changes so it’s clear and easy to use for everyone.

    “Testing with a smaller group helps make sure any changes you do need to make only impacts a few students. You’ll have peace of mind that things are working the way you want before it gets released to every student”.

CONCLUSION With course planning connected to students’ college and career pathways, they’ll start making the link between academics and their future success and, with just a little preparation, you’ll be able to seamlessly introduce this new function to your schools.
Noa Lipton
ABOUT NOA

Noa Lipton is an Onboarding Manager at Xello, with over 8 years of experience helping districts and schools (large and small) successfully implement college and career readiness software. During her tenure, she’s onboarded thousands of clients. In her spare time she enjoys skating and spending time with her family.