January 4

Mind the Gap

At the end of each semester, I have my teen students reflect on the whole semester, their work, skills development, and my effectiveness as a teacher-facilitator. One tool we used popped up repeatedly as “disliked:”

“Not using trello, it didn’t serve us much purpose.”
“I learned how to use Trello, even though I don’t like it.”
“I like the course, I just really don’t like trello.”

As a project-based learning (PBL) practitioner, one of my objectives is to help students develop project management skills. This is one of the central elements of high-quality PBL. Not only are these skills useful for PBL, they are valuable in real life and the real world.

This is the second year I have integrated Trello into my courses. In prior years we used paper calendars to identify tasks and due dates. This provided some rudimentary information, but Trello provides much better depth, such as helping identify dependencies between tasks and flagging problem areas.

Trello by Wikimedia Commons shared under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

This is also the second year Trello has met with resistance from some of my students. As I think of ways to overcome this, I am reminded of one of the principles I learned last summer in the Bright Morning Art of Coaching workshop. Elena Aguilar has studied resistance in adults, particularly among teachers.

Aguilar’s general belief is that when people are resistant, it is not because they are unwilling, but rather that they have a gap in skills, knowledge, capacity, cultural competence or emotional intelligence. She has created a tool called “Mind the Gap,” which helps coaches identify the real reason people are resistant.

In the case of Trello, my hunch is my students have a gap in skills or knowledge. Although we do a low-stakes skills workshop at the beginning of the year, I suspect it was not effective for some students. So, back to the drawing board.

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Posted January 4, 2019 by inspirepassion in category PBL

About the Author

I am a process-focused leader who uses collaboration, authenticity, and mentoring as key skills to inspire passion among learners of all ages. Aggregate eclectic professional experiences have honed my ability to coach others in designing and implementing courses of study using inquiry-/project-based learning (PBL).

3 thoughts on “Mind the Gap

  1. Liza

    Trello is great tool we use to manage activities, projects and people in the company. The software keeps our activity plans always up to date thanks to the functionality of the tool. We also tried zentao same features with cheaper price. ZenTao is very flexible, you can customize your workflow to your needs with different views and settings.

  2. inspirepassion (Post author)

    Thanks, Terry, for posting these resources. I tried to look at your Lino example, but it requires a login. I also set up feeds on Inoreader. Thanks again!


    I googled ‘Trello alternatives’ and found this Reddit post: https://www.reddit.com/r/productivity/comments/8sgwqv/what_are_the_best_alternatives_to_trello_as_a/

    I also created a google alert for ‘Trello alternatives’ and ‘switch from Trello’ and put it in my RSS feed to keep an eye on.

    I have personally used a project-based tool over the last few years that is based on the idea of Kanban. It is called Lino (https://en.linoit.com/) Here is a sample I used recently for a web blogging course I taught at WKU: http://linoit.com/groups/EMW%20COLLAB%20WORKGROUP/canvases/EMW%20COLLAB%20WORKGROUP


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