Instructional Playlists

Using Playlists Across A Variety of Classroom Settings:
Playlists can be utilized effectively in face-to-face settings, within remote learning, as well as during hybrid learning situations.

In the Face-to-Face Classroom:
Playlists can become the primary instructional tool in a face-to-face learning environment. Students receive their playlists at the same time and are able to work simultaneously on completing them. Each student progresses at his or her own pace, and the time spent during each class period with students engaging in their learning is the same. As students work independently, you can check in with individuals and small groups of learners consistently.

Playlists can also be incorporated easily into your stations or learning centers. This can be a convenient way to offer specialized and personalized instruction. Playlists used in this way can also incorporate collaborative activities, meant to be completed with the other learners within their center group.

Flipped learning is also a great time to use playlists. You can decide which portions of the playlist will be completed at school and which will be a focus at home. This allows you to flip the learning, and will free up time for high-impact learning opportunities during face-to-face time in the classroom. Students might complete a “must do” activity at home and then might work on collaborative “may do” activities while in school.

Remote Learning:
Playlists can be an effective tool with remote learning. Students each receive their playlist and can work through it independently, with a general pace expectation set ahead of time. For example, you might assign a different short playlist each day. Playlists of this type will focus on a smaller objective and offer a more limited focus for the day. This model requires the creation of five different playlists for the week, and each will need tweaking in order to offer differentiated options.

Additionally, another option, and often one that makes the most sense for remote learning, is to create a playlist for the week. You can introduce the playlist on Monday, and learners will understand that they are expected to have it completed by Friday. This gives them the freedom to work through it at their own pace, and it is a great opportunity for them to focus on time management skills along the way. This option is often more manageable than a daily playlist, and it allows you to check in with each learner as much as needed throughout the week. This helps to ensure that no one gets too far behind, and you can offer one-on-one support more readily.

Checking in virtually through synchronous video can be helpful also. By using a whole class meeting, you can support your learners, and supplement playlist work with discussion and question and answer time. This can also be completed in small groups for a more personalized learning experience. Live sessions might allow you to gauge learning experiences that build upon the content and activities. These conversations can also help you plan for future playlists, as you will gain an understanding about which activities might be best-received, most successful, or might need repeated again in the future to help hone in on certain skills.

Using playlists with a hybrid learning model also works well. On remote days, students might be assigned their playlists, while on face-to-face days, the focus might be on collaborative learning opportunities and other activities that lend themselves well to being completed in a brick-and-mortar classroom.

Alternatively, you might also choose to have students work on playlists on face-to-face days. If you choose this approach, learners will work through their playlists in class while you check in with students. Other, non-playlist, work would then be completed on remote learning days instead.

You can also blend these two approaches in any combination that might work best for your learning set-up and schedule. For example, you might choose to use a rotation model. Students can complete their playlist activities at home, and while in school, learners will engage in class group work time and teacher station activities.

What are Instructional Playlists?


How To Build an Instructional Playlist

Playlist Checklist

Using Playlists Across A Variety of Classroom Settings

Consider using a simple planning template. Think about point values for each activity and the desired pace as you plan. Download this sample to get started.

Playlist Planning Template