Timeline assignments

Digital timeline assignments give students the opportunity to consolidate their learning into graphically-rich and interactive visualizations of chronologically sequenced information. Timelines can be enhanced with multimedia such text, images, video, maps, and links to additional resources. Additionally, through the use of spatial arrangements, tags, color-coding, and thematic layers, timelines afford alternatives to strictly linear views of historical events, displaying events within varying contexts.

Learning goals

  • Provide students the opportunity to consolidate their learning through a temporal lens
  • Provide a visual and interactive representation of unfolding events and the relationships between those events


  • Digital timelines allow the user to zoom in and out, varying the scale and focus of the time period displayed.
  • Timeline software generally requires specific times for events. While this makes sense for many events, it might not work so well for conveying eras or societal trends. Some software allows events to be categorized into thematic bands that can be used to indicate certain eras or themes without the need to assign specific dates.
Student preparation

The timeline tools listed below are very easy to use and require very little training. The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning can provide documentation.

Possible tools
Posted by May 10, 2021