“All learning takes place one step at a time,” according to Fred Jones, author of Tools for Teaching. Noted for his tips on “weaning the helpless handraisers”, Fred Jones developed the Visual Instruction Plan (VIP) strategy. “A VIP is nothing more than a string of visual prompts.” Students refer to these prompts to see what to do next. VIP’s work in any subject area, including computer art.
Krysta Stanko, Computer Art I teacher, asked her students to create logos for a company. She created a VIP for her students, posting it on a sideboard for reference. Seven of her seventeen steps are shown above. She then projected on her Brightlink board her personal graphic examples of each step.
As students worked on their logos, I noticed that a few were on step 3, many were on step 8, some were on step 5, and one was practically finished (step 16), putting on the finishing touches. All could tell me which step they were on. Those who had been absent were on step 3. Part of the beauty of the VIP is that students can work at their own pace, referring to the steps for the answer to, “What do I do next?” I saw no one off-task, due in part to Ms. Stanko’s last step: “At the end of each class, type what you accomplished today, the steps you did, and send it to me (virtual share) for a daily grade. This step held all accountable.
Take a look below as student Daryl Nelson explains where he is in the project:
Students in this Computer Art class were independently working while Ms Stanko critiqued their work and redirected some to the next step. No helpless handraisers in sight.
To take your VIP to the next level, try combining your steps with a graphic for each in an easily shared google doc. You can use simple tables such as tables you would insert into a word document. Take a look at this VIP created by Varina’s ITRT, Mike Dunavant.
More VIP’s can be found on the Food Network and Betty Crocker web sites. Happy Cookiing. And happy, less-stress teaching with Visual Instruction Plans of your own.