The Chalk Blog

Personalized Learning w/ Hyperdocs


Making the shift to 21st century teaching just got a whole lot easier with hyperdocs! On the outside a Hyperdoc looks like just a colorful Google doc with links, but when you dig in deeper you’ll find a research-based digital lesson with interactive elements tailored to each student.   

This new way of packaging lessons created by teachers Lisa Highfill, Sarah Landis and Kelly Hilton, will blow that outdated pile of worksheets right into the trash.  Hyperdocs encourage exploration, creation and application of learning.  Instead of traditional teacher-directed lessons, students are able to move through the lesson at their own pace allowing the teacher freedom to instruct small groups or provide individual support.  

As many districts adopt a more personalized learning approach, they’re not only acknowledging the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, and cultural backgrounds of individual students, but making these a priority.  Hyperdocs give students the opportunity to: 

  • Have ownership of their learning process. Hyperdocs provide choice in pathways to learning.  Students can make decisions about how and what they learn based on personal needs and preferences.  
  • Focus on the learning process rather than "big end-of-year tests." Checkpoints built into the hyperdoc give students a chance to gather feedback from classmates and teachers.  Discussion threads, self-grading quizzes and reflection opportunities provide great formative assessment data for teachers.  
  • Demonstrate mastery of learning targets. Students take an active role in demonstrating competency in their learning goals.  Hyperdocs create a visual progression towards individual mastery of standards and goals.    
  • Learn anytime, anywhere. All of the learning is packaged in one easy to find place and can be accessed anytime on multiple devices. 

Ready to get started creating your own Hyperdoc? 

Here are some steps to guide you: 

  1. Consider a lesson or unit you’d like to enhance.
    • What are the objectives? 
    • What are the time constraints?  How long will students have to complete their work? 
  1. Decide on a learning model (Samples)
    • 5E’s Instructional Model-- Explore, Explain, Apply Model 
    • Hyperdocs Model 
    • Workshop Model 
  1. Pick your packaging or framework 
    • Docs 
    • Slides 
    • Sites 
    • Maps 
    • Gameboard 
  1. Determine your workflow
    • How will your students access the hyperdoc?  Google Classroom?  Seesaw? 
    • How will you collect their work? 
  1. Jazz it up with elements of design
    • Colors 
    • Fonts 
    • Images 
    • Interactive elements  (Great curated list by Laura Moore) 
    • Tables 
    • Multiple pages 

For a great list of tips to make your first Hyperdoc a success, download our Hyperdoc Help Sheet.  We’ll share some time-saving tips for creation, collaboration, implementation and evaluation.   

HyperDoc Tip Sheet

According to teacher creators Highfill (@lhighfill), Hilton (@kellyihilton) and Landis (@sarahlandis), HyperDocs have the potential to shift the way you instruct with technology. It’s not about teaching technology, it’s about using the technology to TEACH.” 

Below is a list of resources to learn more about Hyperdocs: 


Topics: Technology

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