Sync Your Syllabus Into One Calendar
A strategy blind college students can use to create a simple calendar of assignments. (Sighted students can use it too.)
Everyone’s different, and there’s several other ways that could work well, but this was the way I used to keep all my different syllabus assignments together in one master list so they didn’t slip up on me, using the JAWS screen reader. I’ll use headings in this article so you can practice, if you want, or are unfamiliar with them.
So, you’ve got five different syllabus handed to you and you’re still in shock? “How will I keep up with all of this?” you might ask. Microsoft Word to the rescue! Seriously, seriously.
Step Zero: Receive the Syllabus
If you’re sighted, you probably won’t have to worry about this one, but to be fair a lot of times blind people can get an electronic syllabus through email or from the college website before the paper ones are handed out. If you get a printed copy and there hasn’t been an electronic format one posted or emailed yet, just assume it will be further delayed.
You’ll want to get ahead while you can, before things stack up, so ask Academic Services, or whatever college organization is responsible for assisting you, as a visually impaired person, to read or scan the syllabus for you.
Usually I’d just take them to academic services, and ask one of the tutors to read the calendar part as I took down the assignment names and dates.
Step 1: Begin The Calendar
Let’s assume it’s a fall semester that begins in august. Once you have a blank Word document open type August, and then enter twice to start a new line. Do the same for each month until you’ve got all the months for that semester.
Now, go back and make sure there’s a blank line between each month, and save the document to be on the safe side.
Step 2: Apply Headings
Navigate the cursor to each of the months, one by one, and use the keyboard command
Alt shift left arrow to apply a heading to each month title.
Just place the cursor on the line of the word and hit alt shift left arrow.
You want to apply each one separately, because if you do the entire document everything will be the same style, and you won’t be able to skip around.
Now, I’d recommend pressing alt shift and right arrow until it’s a heading level 3, since that’s a smaller font, but it’s up to you what you want to do. You’ll only have to do that on the first one, if you start from the top, and it will automatically apply the same heading level 3 to each new style you set.
Step 3: Input Assignments and Dates
Take your first syllabus and go to the calendar part. Input the data onto your master calendar that you’re making. Since you have the months written, and headings applied, you don’t have to write the month each time and can just begin each entry with the date number. I’ll have an example below if that doesn’t make sense.
Once you’ve got one syllabus down, go back and do the same things for the next one. If you have more than one assignment on the same day, I’d just put the first class item at the top of the list beside the date, and then write the next class underneath. That’s pretty much it.
If you have an cloud service app on your phone like Dropbox, Google Drive etc. you can save a copy to that, so you can bring it up anytime to check for things.
I did a very brief YouTube recording showing how I made the mock syllabus below in case it was helpful. I also wanted to see why the YouTube player bar didn’t display in another article I wrote previously, so tried another way in this one.
25 quiz Intro to Philosophy
Midterm Exam Researching Literature
12th Read pages 20–40 Descartes
31 halloween party