Splitting and Grouping Lesson Sequences

I have just released Scholaric with a new lesson planning feature that I call splitting and grouping.

Previously, all lesson sequences incremented by a single value, for each day it was scheduled.

Now with split and grouped sequences, we can alter this behavior where desired.

Splitting a Sequence

Lessons in a sequence can be split or divided, across multiple days, so that the same lesson appears for multiple scheduled days.  You might use this if you want, for example, a chapter of your book for a whole week.

A split sequence is the equivalent of creating a sequence with one value for a number of days, then the next value for the next few days, and then the next value for the next few days...

Split sequences are indicated by following the range with a slash '/' and the number of days to split the lesson across.


The above split sequence generates lessons with the following pattern:

Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 1
Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 1
Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 2
Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 2
Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 3
Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 3
Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 4
Read and Outline Genesis Chapter 4

and would result in 2 chapters a week, since the student has it assigned 4 days per week.

Grouping a Sequence

While splitting uses the same values in a range multiple times, grouping does the opposite - specifying multiple values from the range show up in a single day.  A group is useful to, for example, assign a certain number of pages from a range each day.

A grouped sequence is the equivalent of entering a literal range each day, with each new range starting after the previous range ended.

Grouped sequences are indicated by following the range with an asterisk '*' and the number of values from the range to include in each group.

The above grouped sequence generates lessons with the following pattern:

War and Peace Pages 7-16
War and Peace Pages 17-26
War and Peace Pages 27-36
War and Peace Pages 37-46
War and Peace Pages 47-56

and would result in 30 pages per week, since the student has it assigned 3 days per week.

Note that the range 7-100 does not divide evenly into sets of 10.  Scholaric detects this, and makes the final range smaller.  In this case it is 97-100.

Happy Planning

Advanced Lesson Sequences

Scholaric now supports additional lesson sequences.

In addition to numeric ranges like this:

Lesson {1-10}

You can now use alphabetic ranges as well:

Section {A-G}

lower case works too:

Parts {a-d}

Some of our series have two sequences nested inside each other, like a letter (a-c) within a number (1-5)

Lesson 1 Part a
Lesson 1 Part b
Lesson 1 Part c
Lesson 2 Part a
Lesson 2 Part b
Lesson 2 Part c
Lesson 3 Part a
Lesson 3 Part b
Lesson 3 Part c
Lesson 3 Part a

To do this use

Lesson {1-10} Part {a-c}

These nested sequences introduce a new problem. For the above example, if you needed to continue (say you had limit of 10 lessons set), you will need to start the numeric (outer) range at 3, and the inner (alphabetic) range at b. But, the range of {b-c} applies only to the first sub-range for the rest, it needs to revert back to the full {a-c}, or you will skip Lesson 4 Part a.

We need a new syntax to cover this case. This is called seeding, which starts your inner series at a point other than the first value in the range.

Seeding is set by following your range with a colon and the seed value.

Lesson {3-10} Part {a-c:b}

This inner seeded sequence is b-c for Lesson 3, a-c for the rest.

Happy Planning

Normalized Course and Subject Names

I have relaxed the rules of course and subject names.

The rules still remain that a subject or course name given to Scholaric will
  • Have leading spaces removed
  • Have trailing spaces removed
  • Have consecutive spaces removed
  • Each word will have a leading capital letter
New is the fact that it no longer forces the remaining letters to be lower case.

Now Algebra II can be that, instead of Algebra Ii, for example.

Happy Planning,


Print Scholaric Grid

New this morning, you can print the Scholaric grid.

This is in response to numerous requests from users, who want the grid to be their weekly printout.

Please note that the second page does not have the same header as the first page, due to limitations in HTML printing.  Hopefully, that will change in the future.

Happy Planning

Delete a Lesson Series

Scholaric Users can delete a series of lessons.

When you delete a lesson that is part of a series, you will see a new checkbox in the delete dialog:

If you select delete series, then all lessons created as part of that series, from that date forward will be deleted as once.  This also gives you the ability to redo a series, and change the schedule or text, or whatever you want.

This applies to all repeating lessons created in the last week, since I've started tracking them this way.

My apologies for not going back further on this, but Scholaric is approaching a quarter million lessons, and I would have to take it down for hours to retrofit them.

Happy Planning

Improved: Course Ordering

Scholaric users have long been able to reorder their courses, through the move/up move/down menu options.  This worked, but had serious limitations. I'm happy to announce a few important improvements.

Drag and Drop Courses

First, you can now drag courses to reorder them.  This has been requested by several users, and I've taken a new look at it.  You can now drag a course up and down.  Like dragging courses, the drop targets turn red, and the hovered target changes as well.

Many programs suffer from inconsistent implementations of dragging to reorder content, and it is not clear how to drag to both the beginning, the end, whether to drag between the existing items, or on top.  Scholaric tries hard to make this the most natural implementation possible:

When you drop a course above the original, it goes before the drop target.

When you drop a course below the original, it goes after the drop target.

When you drop a course on the original, there is no change.

Move Any Course

Next, you can reorder, by drag and drop, or by the move menu, any course in the student's planning grid.  Previously, a course could only be moved if it were added for the student, and visible.  This caused customers a great deal of confusion.  Now, the capabilities are the same for all courses you see.

Order Preservation when Hiding

The third improvement is that when you hide courses, they retain their position in the course list.  As the years go on, and our course list changes, we can hide our old courses, but still go back in time to see them in their original order.  Previously, when courses were hidden, they were pushed to the bottom of the list.

Better Rendering

Finally, hidden courses caused a flash when drawing the grid.  They were drawn and quickly erased.  This was a less than ideal experience, in that it looks bad, but also it makes things take longer.  I'm glad this is fixed and I look forward to improving even more in the future

Happy Planning

Improved: How to Edit a Goal's Scope

I have just made a small change which I hope makes a big difference in helping customers understand the entering of goal scopes.

First the basics - the scope is what subjects and courses a goal is tracking.  Lessons from these subjects and courses are included in the calculation.

If no subjects or courses are specified, the scope includes all lessons.

The goal states what it is tracking in its goal box:

When you want to restrict a goal to specific subjects or courses, click on the tracking declaration to see the scope dialog:

The dialog allows you to enter specific subjects or courses for the goal's scope.  Typically, you will want to use subjects only.  Type the subject name (using autocomplete) and hit the Add button to add it.  You will see the current scope appear.

To reduce the scope, hit the delete icon.  When you are finished, close the dialog with the Done button.

Previously, the Done button said OK, and the Add button did not exist (you were expected to hit enter to submit it).  I hope this eliminates the confusion.

Happy Planning