It sounds like you're given the instructions for each of the panels and then you'll work row 1 from panel 1, row 1 from panel 2, row 1 from panel 3. On the next row you'd work a row from panel 3, a row from panel 2, then a row from panel 1. Maybe?
Is there a picture or anything online that you could link to? That could be helpful.
Happiness is catching that dropped stitch while it's still fixable..