3 Examples of Kanban Boards for Education and How To Use Them

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Did you think that Kanban boards were the preserve of marketing gurus or software developers? Think again! While Kanban tools are used to great effect by businesses of all sizes, the benefits to educators and learners are substantial, if somewhat unexplored. Online Kanban-style boards in MeisterTask can be easily customized to map any kind of workflow, which makes them ideal for tracking and managing school projects and assignments, as well as administrative work. In this post, we look at some excellent examples of task management in education by highlighting three Kanban boards that can help teachers and students manage the learning process more effectively.

3 Examples of Kanban Boards for Education and How To Use Them

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Why Use Kanban Boards in Education?
  • Board #1 – Writing Process
  • Board #2 – School Plan
  • Board #3 – Homework and Projects

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Why Use Kanban Boards in Education?

Every organization – be it a commercial enterprise or educational institution – should be aiming for maximum efficiency, because it’s the key to higher productivity and better outcomes. It’s no coincidence that Kanban methodology is rooted in the super-efficient Japanese automotive industry. Task management is gaining traction across all sectors for one reason – it works.

Read our White Paper on how Agile Learning principles can be applied in educational institutions using online mind mapping and task management tools.

Better yet, it works really well in education. Why? Because Kanban is a straightforward way of visualizing academic work and managing it more efficiently – and the upshot can be a striking improvement in the quality of the education you can provide. Let’s dive right in to discover how you as an educator or a student can improve and streamline your own educational workflows!

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Board #1: Writing Process

Writing assignments are central to learning programs from high school to university. MeisterTask’s Kanban-style project boards can be used to model the writing process and break down each step into bite-size chunks. This way, every step, from brainstorming through to final project submission, can be completed smoothly. During the process, customizable integrations with other tools – including calendar apps, email tools, and team chat software – can be used to enhance the user experience. For example, an integration with a cloud storage system like Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive would make a lot of sense if several documents, images or video files need to be attached directly to the task.

Learn how integrations in MeisterTask can make life easier for you.

Who Would Use This Board?

This Kanban board is extremely practical for teachers to use collaboratively with the whole class. In an Administrator role, a teacher can invite students to the board and assign them tasks – in this case their writing assignments. Administrators have full control over the project, including all tasks, automations and customizations. Students move their work through the board step by step as they complete each section, and they can also attach documents so that all of their work is available in one central place. This Kanban board makes it extremely easy to maintain a clear overview of each student’s progress and see at a glance exactly where they are in the process.

Even with so many project members involved, you never need to worry about privacy. The new Guest role added to the roles and permissions in MeisterTask means that a project administrator can now invite guests, and if a student has been assigned the guest role, they’ll receive a notification whenever the administrator assigns or mentions them in a task. Guests can only access and edit tasks which have been assigned to them or in which they have been mentioned; all other tasks and project details remain completely hidden from guests, adding an extra layer of protection for sensitive information.

Learn more about how to use MeisterTask and MindMeister to keep up with your studies in our Student Guide to the Meister Suite.

Kanban boards are a very dynamic way to teach the writing process. This type of collaborative approach is not only more efficient, it also inspires creativity because it helps students to visualize their progress and generates a feeling of success as they move their tasks through the board. If you’re the type of educator who likes to reward students by giving credit where it’s due, then you’ll quickly realize that a Kanban board is the perfect way to encourage students and inspire them to perform better.

The Setup

Each section in the Kanban board (Brainstorming, Preparing, etc.) correlates to a step in the writing process. The board is fully customizable with unlimited sections, so this is a template that can be adapted easily to match your workflow. As with a typical Kanban project board, once a student has completed all of the steps involved in a task, the task can then be moved along to the next section. When the work is flowing according to a Kanban structure, it is easy for you to see if a task has been stuck in one section for a long time, which might indicate that a student is having problems. This allows you to provide a student with additional support if needed.

Curious about how MeisterTask can be used to turn a project board into a central information hub for students? Read our blog post about taking your classroom online.


Each task on the board is assigned to one student and represents their writing assignment, with all of their work in one place. Any information they need to complete their assignment can also be added to their task, and everything is stored safely and securely online according to the highest privacy and online data security standards. There is no danger of students losing or misplacing documents or other resources.

Due dates can also be defined to keep students focused and on track, and checklists added to remind them of what needs to be completed before they can progress to the next step.

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Tip: Use Automations To Increase Efficiency

MeisterTask allows you to automate specific steps in your workflow in order to save time and reduce the margin of error. Here are our top tips for using automations in your classroom:

  • Add checklists: If all of the tasks in a section of the board include the same steps, you can easily save them in a checklist and set up an automation. This way, the checklist will be applied to all new tasks added to that section. 
  • Assign task: When a task is moved to the Submitted section, it can be automatically reassigned to the teacher, triggering a notification. This way you know that the student has completed their work, and you can go ahead and grade it.
  • Auto-complete: MeisterTask can automatically mark tasks as completed when they are moved to the Submitted section. This gives students a sense of satisfaction once they have turned in their work.

You will see from Johann’s task that he has now completed all of the items in the Preparing checklist, after crossing each item off as he progresses through the task. You will also notice that the task includes attachments. In Johann’s case, these are the mind maps he created with MindMeister during the initial brainstorming phase of the project, and a draft of his writing assignment. His teacher, Susie, is a Project watcher, which means she will be notified as Johann moves his task through the board, checks off items in the checklist or adds attachments. Watchers receive notifications whenever any task within a project is changed in any way, which means that Susie can stay updated on the progress of all of her students and address any difficulties they might be having.

Read our top 5 tips for applying project management ideas in your school to improve collaboration and communication.

Board #2: School Plan 

As a school principal, vice-principal, superintendent or any type of administrator, your priority is to ensure the smooth daily functioning and overall success of your institution. And while there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a student succeed, the path to providing the best possible education can be a challenging one. So let MeisterTask make it a little bit easier for you. This School Plan Kanban board can help you to take your responsibilities in your stride, from managing teachers and support staff to overseeing budgets and curricula. All of which helps you to continue setting the highest educational standards.

Who Would Use This Board?

This Kanban board is perfect for school administrators as well as teachers, because it can be used as a to-do list, to manage projects, plan lessons and collaborate with colleagues. The collaborative nature of this Kanban board is especially helpful, because it allows a head of department to invite all of the teachers in that department and to manage team projects in one place. It also allows teachers who have a job-share or groups of teachers to keep an eye on what each project member is working on and to see at a glance when tasks will be completed.

Whatever your role, this Kanban board is designed to help keep you organized, set and achieve your goals, to plan ahead, and communicate effectively. For administrators in particular, the value of Kanban-style boards in MeisterTask lies in the ability to prioritize work, to visualize the workload, and keep track of what entire teams of teachers are working on. This all contributes to avoiding bottlenecks and to the smooth running and ultimate success of your educational institution.

Learn how one school in the UK used MeisterTask as a project management tool for complex events.

The Setup

This Kanban board comprises four sections, where assignments that need to be prepared, assigned, collected and returned can be organized, and administrative duties can be managed. Following the Kanban principle of moving tasks through sections left to right until they are completed, the goal is to eventually move all tasks to the Returned section. Let’s take a more detailed look at each section:

  • The Prep section is where all tasks begin. Here, information is collected and added to the description. Regardless of whether this is an administrative task or a lesson, preparation should be the first step in the planning of any project. 
  • The Assigned section is used to keep track of assignments given to students. By adding the due date of the assignment to the task, teachers will see a task turn orange as the due date approaches, at which point they should start preparing to collect assignments.
  • Tasks are moved to the Collected section once assignments have been collected, which lets teachers know that they can begin grading. An automation can be set up to create a due date for tasks in this section.
  • Assignments are moved to the Returned section after they have been graded. Tasks can be marked as completed and even archived if necessary. This section can be reused multiple times, and tasks stored with all relevant documents and checklists. Any notes added by teachers will also remain intact and can be used for future reference.

If a group of teachers is using this board as a department, either the Collected or the Returned section can be omitted. The board can instead be pared down to just three sections, for example Prepare, In progress, and Completed.

Let’s open a task from the project board and take a closer look at some of the most useful features of MeisterTask in an educational environment.

To give even more structure to your project and allow for easy
filtering, you can use tags. If your project boards start to become crowded, you can use filters to view only those tasks relevant to your needs. In this case, you can filter by Assignments or Classwork.You can set Custom Fields for every task on a project board. Customized data fields can be added to tasks in any project, making it easy to categorize, search, track and add information to projects. They can be populated with numbers, text or a drop-down menu.

In this case, Custom Fields have been used to distinguish which class a task is for and can help track what has been prepared for each class. This is especially helpful if one class has students with learning disabilities, as special materials can be prepared for that class.

Descriptions are great for providing general information that is relevant to the task throughout its journey. They should include any information that might make a task easier to understand.

Checklists are action-based and are used to check off smaller items within a task as they are completed. This is one of MeisterTask’s great collaborative features, because it allows multiple project members to look at a task and know instantly which steps have been checked off and how close to completion the task is.

MeisterTask also has a section for comments in every task dialog, so it’s easy to discuss task-relevant information in a way that is transparent and logical. This eliminates the need for email chains where vital information can easily fall through the cracks. After all, the key is not necessarily more communication, but better communication. The information is centralized, so all stakeholders have access to it. Just to be doubly sure about not missing any important details, you can define notification settings so that you’ll still receive an email alert whenever a task is updated.

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Board #3: Homework and Projects

Doing the work is one thing, but having to keep track of multiple assignments can quickly become overwhelming. The solution? Kanban-style boards in MeisterTask. These beautifully designed, visual project boards make managing the workflow a breeze. Students can use this board to maintain an at-a-glance overview of upcoming projects, work in progress, and assignments that have been completed. Which makes it a lot easier to focus on the work itself. The entire learning experience can be enhanced by the use of tags, colors, and symbols

Since it’s likely that students will face the same or similar kinds of projects throughout the academic year, you can also use templates to save time. MeisterTask allows you to duplicate entire project boards or individual tasks to create templates which can be reused again and again.

Check out this video tutorial to see simple task management for students in action!

Who Would Use This Board?

This Kanban board allows students to easily keep on top of their assignments. Not only is this a practical way to manage school work, it is also a great tool for helping students to learn the kind of solid organizational and communication skills that will stand them in good stead for their future. And students love MeisterTask because it is so simple and intuitive – one less thing to learn!

The Setup

This board is relatively easy to set up and comprises only three sections: Open, In Progress and Done. Simple, yet highly effective. The board is updated constantly as new projects and homework are assigned by the teacher, who can create a new task for each one. The use of tags to label which classes each task is for is a great feature for students, because they can quickly filter assignments by class or due date to keep on top of their workload and deadlines. Teachers can include instructions in the task description so that their students know exactly what they have to do.

This board can house a vast array of assignments, from daily homework to longer assignments such as group projects or essay prep. Quizzes and exams can also have their own tasks on the board to help students better grasp their workload. Students can break assignments into as many tasks as they need; let’s say a teacher assigns a writing project, students can then split it into three separate tasks that might be easier to visualize and manage. This is a very straightforward and yet supremely flexible board that lends itself exceptionally well to the classroom environment.

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Let’s take a look at some of the features that make MeisterTask the perfect task management tool for students.

  • Due Dates: Due dates are a must for students with a deadline. MeisterTask turns a task orange as its due date approaches, a visual cue that keeps students on track as they navigate their homework project.
  • Filters: Using filters, students can easily group tasks based on different criteria. This feature is designed to filter out only relevant information based on your current needs, making the project board less crowded. Let’s say a student wants an overview of the number of assignments from a particular class, they can use this feature to hide all assignments not from that class. Or perhaps they need to filter tasks by due date, allowing them to prioritize and never miss a deadline.
  • Recurring tasks: A teacher might wish to set regular assignments that are due at the same time every week. MeisterTask allows you to set up a Recurring Task automation for tasks that need to be completed repeatedly at regular intervals, which means students never have to worry about missing an assignment. This automation is a major time-saver and ensures that responsibilities are never overlooked.
  • Timeline: Meister’s take on the Gantt chart, the timeline feature in MeisterTask helps students visualize their tasks in an intuitive, calendar-based format. The start and end dates are irrespective of due dates, so if a student creates a task as a reminder to study for an upcoming quiz, they can use the timeline feature to block out a two-week period during which they have work to do, but no actual assignments to turn in.

Bringing the Agile Mindset to Education

Kanban isn’t just for businesses. These three super-intuitive examples of Kanban boards for education are meant to give you an idea of how you might use the Kanban method to consistently meet the highest academic standards. It’s a method that works especially well in this environment, because it brings structure to the pipeline and is a great way to help students, teachers, and administrators stay on top of work and manage their time.

Now that you’re convinced of the benefits of using MeisterTask’s Kanban-style boards to manage your educational and administrative tasks, all that’s left to do is sign up!

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At Meister, we are crusaders for learning and MeisterTask is tailor-made for education. If you’re interested in using our intuitive task management tool in your institution, you can find out more about our educational discounts here.

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