Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS
Sarah Nilsson, JD, PhD, MAS


There is no such thing as effective teaching in the absence of learning - teaching without learning is just talking


Why I value diversity

Globalization and immigration patterns have increased and will continue to increase the likelihood that we will need to work with colleagues and clients with different identities and lived experience. To be effective leaders, we need to know how to work well with people who are different from us. We must also be aware of our own biases and know how to mitigate them. Effective leaders manage and participate in teams. A team made up of people with diverse viewpoints can be more innovative and effective than a team of people who all think alike, if its leader knows how to cultivate and manage a diversity of ideas.

To have a clear understanding of one's work on society, one must, among other things, understand how injustice and discrimination have shaped society. 

I strive to be engaged, civic-minded, and guided by a sense of personal responsibility to have a positive impact on society. I believe that with a social justice orientation I can positively impact society by identifying discrimination, reversing underrepresentation, and challenging the status quo in the fields in which I lead.

My mission in life, with respect to valuing diversity, is to increase awareness, allyship, and action wherever I go. I strive to foster engagement with, and understanding of, critical issues, including bias, power, and privilege. I shall always try to actively counter racism, sexism, classism, heteronormativity, ableism, and other forms of institutionalized oppression. I shall always try to offer space for dialogue to serve as an ally to others on the path to a socially just and equitable society.


first day welcome.docx
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find the patterns.docx
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Guidelines for Classroom Discussion – Te[...]
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collaborative work skills Doyle.docx
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collaborative work skills group discuss[...]
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summative rubric.docx
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peer_assessment updated.docx
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Scaled Analytic Rubric.docx
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Oral Presentation Rubric.docx
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Holistic Grading Criteria.docx
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My Teaching Style

- I believe in learner-centered teaching (LCT). The one who does the work does the learning. If students are to learn, then it must be their brains that do the work. I, the teacher, must be the designer and the facilitator of that work. The use of lecture in LCT is limited to talking to students about things they cannot learn on their own.


- I believe that human survival depends on humans working together. 

Learning is the ability to use information after significant periods of disuse and it is the ability to use the information to solve problems that arise in contexts different (if only slightly) from the context in which the information was originally taught - Bjork, 1994  


- I believe in the power of authentic learning.

Authentic learning is a pedagogical approach that allows students to explore, discuss, and meaningfully construct concepts and relationships in contexts that involve real-world problems and projects that are relevant to the learner - Donovan, Bransford, & Pellegrino, 1999

It embodies teamwork and collaboration, technology, and the professional presentation of processes and solutions.

For employers, the most important skills in new hires include teamwork, critical thinking/reasoning, assembling/organizing information, and innovative thinking/creativity - Hart, 2006

Authentic learning helps develop these very skills!

Expert thinking and complex communication skills will propel you in your career.

Expert thinking involves the ability to identify and solve problems for which there is no routine solution. This requires pattern recognition and metacognition. 

Complex communication involves persuading, explaining, negotiating, gaining trust, and building understanding.


- I believe students should take responsibillity for their work. 

Authentic assessment is an evaluation process that involves multiple forms of performance measurement, reflecting the student's learning, achievement, motivation, and attitudes on instructionally relevant activities. E.g. performance assessment, portfolios, self-assessment


- I believe in the concept of MODEL - PRACTICE - FEEDBACK


- I believe in authentic assessment techniques:

measurement taking

oral report

written report



lab report

science notebook/journal

student talk

active listening

concept map - like Xmind

open-ended questions

lab performance


skills/behaviors check list


peer evaluation

outside professional evaluation

use of industry standards

product production - objects, movies, art forms, scripts, advertisements etc

public presentation at professional meetings, conferences


- I believe in being a facilitator of learning.

In business and industry, a facilitator is a person who runs meetings, oversees committees, or gets others to complete a task or reach a goal.

In education, a facilitator is a person who supports students in learning their course material by providing an environment for engagement; a set of resources such as questions, articles, research findings, problems, and/or cases to engage with; and using assessment tools hat provide the learner with meaningful feedback. Facilitation is a learned skill.


- I believe in giving specific, meaningful, helpful, frequent feedback.


- I believe in encouraging a growth mindset in my students, as opposed to a fixed mindset.

Fixed Mindset: students believe that intelligence is a fixed trait - that some people have it and others do not - and that their intelligence is reflected in their performance - Dweck, 2006

Growth Mindset: students value hard work, learning, and challenges while seeing failure as something to learn from. Believe brain is malleable and intelligence and abilities can be enhanced through hard work and practice.






Students want to look smart by taking on only easy tasks, trying to make others look dumb, and/or discounting others’ achievements


Students’ self-image is not tied to their abilities because they see their abilities as something that can be further developed and improved. Their desire to learn is paramount.



Students tend to stick to what they can do well. Other challenges are to be avoided because they present a risk to their self-image should they fail.


Challenge is embraced because students believe they will come out stronger for facing it. They believe they will discover valuable information by engaging in the effort.



Obstacles are defined as things that are external or beyond one’s control and therefore harder to avoid. Students often make excuses or avoid them by being absent.


Because their self-image is not tied to their success or how they look to others, students see failure as an opportunity to learn. So, in a sense, they win either way. An obstacle is just one more thing on the road to learning and improving.



Students’ view of effort is that it is unpleasant and does not pay off in any positive gains; therefore, it is to be avoided. Their perception of what “great effort” is can fall quite short of what is actually required to succeed academically. This may also contribute to their view of effort as futile.


Students see effort as necessary if growth and eventual mastery is to be gained. It is viewed as a natural part of the learning process.


Any criticism of students’ abilities is seen as criticism of them at a personal level. Useful criticism is usually ignored or, even worse, seen as an insult. This personal response to criticism leads to less and less chance of improvement because they are not open to using any of the feedback that could help them improve.


Although these students are not any more thrilled about hearing negative criticism than anyone else, they know it is not personal and that it is meant to help them grow and improve, which they believe they can do. They also see the criticism as directed only at their current level of abilities, which they see as changing with time and effort.


Success of others

Students see others’ success as making them look bad. They may try to convince their peers that others’ successes were due to luck or some objectionable actions. They may even try to distract from the successes of others by bringing up their own unrelated personal successes or previous failures of those persons currently successful.


The success of others is seen as inspiration and information that they can learn from.


Dear Student, 

1. I shall praise your effort and strategies, not your intelligence.

2. I shall tell you that you can grow your own brain.

3. When you fail, I shall focus feedback on having you increase your effort and use improved strategies.

4. I shall help you understand that your ability to face a challenge is not about your actual skills or abilities; it's about the mindset you bring to a challenge.

5. I will reinforce that current performance reflects only your current skills and efforts, not your intelligence or worth.

6. I will offer evidence that your fixed beliefs are in error, and I will teach you the study skills and learning skills you need to succeed in the course.


Your facilitator of learning, Sarah


- I believe in working towards meeting the following standards:

1. Establish a safe classroom.

2. Strive to make the work students do be of value to them.

3. Provide evidence of students' success.

4. Establish a caring classroom.

5. Use best practices.


- I believe in sharing control and giving choices. First, by providing choices in the kinds of policies and procedures that will be used in the course, and second, by giving students more control over what they learn, how they learn it, and how they demonstrate that they have learned. It is human nature to want to be in control. This will be accomplished through small group discussion to build this community of learners. The rationale for this is as follows:

1. It is the students learning, not mine, so they should have a big say in it.

2. Sharing creates ownership for the students in their learning experience.

3. Sharing power creates community. It moves the classroom away from the teacher-versus-students model.

4. Sharing shifts responsibility to the students, where it belongs. They will be responsible for their own learning the rest of their lives and they need to practice that now.


Groups will be formed in 3 ways:

1. informal groups: temporary and often complete their work in a single class period

2. formal groups: to complete a specific task and may work together over several class periods

3. study teams: often last the entire semesterand serve a variety of learning needs


- I believe that pedagogies that take the social nature of learning seriously tend to be more successful. Students give witness that when they have opportunities to discuss, critique, and relate the material to their own lives, it becomes more meaningful and memorable, more connected to their understanding of the world - Brookfield and Preskill, 2005


- I believe in the following rationales for the use of discussion:

1. Not knowing how to express your ideas in the workplace can be career threatening.

2. Students need to learn that their ideas, suggestions, questions, and concerns will not be heard in the world of work if they wait to be called on. Getting the attention of leadership at any level depends on learning to take the initiative in offering their ideas, suggestions, and concerns.

3. Students need to understand that one of the most important aspects of college learning is hearing the different views of their peers. It is a major way they develop and refine their thinking.

4. Research clearly shows that learning is enhanced by discussion. Students learn more and remember more from their discussion than from lecture.

5. The single most important skill students need to be successul in the workplace is the ability to talk and listen to people.

6. Most work in the real world is done in teams and groups. Learning how to get along and collaborate in small and large discussion groups is great practice for this, especially if a student is not naturally outgoing or prefers to work alone.

7. Discussion develops critical thinking skills. It is vital to be able to practice the thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation in a safe environment, which a classroom discussion affords. It is ok to make mistakes in the classroom, not in the real world.

8. Challenging or affirming others is important in effective communication. Discussion is a chance to practice the skills of disagreement, confrontation, and affirmation - all vital to our students' longterm success.

9. Discussion allows students the opportunity to clarify their thinking and organize their thoughts.  


- I believe in the following discussion methods:

1. Guided discussions: teacher poses questions designed to lead the students toward a particular outcome. Lot of structure and takes thoughtful planning to execute well.

2. Debate: some instruction here

3. Role play: many forms - students move outside themselves, shedding some insecurities

After the discussion:

1. reflection papers

2. summaries

3. fact or idea sheet

4. mind map - click here or here for examples

Assessing discussion

1. wiki site

2. papers

3. presentations


- I believe at our senses work together, not in isolation, as was once thought, and when multiple senses are used in instruction, better encoding of information takes place, thus allowing for improved recall of the information.


- I believe that today's learners are digital natives. In other words, they prefer:

1. receiving information quickly from multiple multimedia sources.

2. parallel processing and multitasking.

3. processing pictures, sounds, and video before text.

4. random access to hyperlinked multimedia information

5. interacting and networking simultaneously with many others.

6. learning 'just-in-time'.

7. instant gratification and instant rewards.

8. learning that is relevant, instantly useful, and fun.

- Jukes & Dosa, 2003


- I believe that the human cognitive process involves actively creating linkages among concepts, skill elements, people, and experiences. For the individual learner, this will be about making meaning by establishing and reworking patterns, relationships, and connections. New biological research reveals that connection-making is the core of both mental activity and brain development. - Ewell, 1997


- I believe in helping my students discover the patterns that exist within my own content areas so that they can see how course knowledge is interconnected. Patterning processes include similarity and difference, comparison and contrast, cause and effect, hierarchy, alphabetical order, students' own language, etc. There are patterns in all knowledge and the students job is to look for them constantly. Most students have developed excellent abilities to recognize patterns in many aspects of their lives, but often do not transfer them to the classroom.  


- I believe in Deliberate Practice because it takes intense concentration, requires deep motivation, and is often self-motivated. Introverts prefer to work independently and solitude can be a catalyst to innovation. Sometimes, group brainstorming fails because of (1) social loafing, where in a group some individuals tend to sit back and let others do the work; (2) production blocking, where only one person can talk or produce an idea at once, while the other group members are forced to sit passively; and (3) evaluation apprehension, meaning the fear of looking stupid in front of one's peers. - Susan Cain


Terry Doyle - LCT website

Collaborative Learning

To collaborate - to work with another or others - means students working in pairs or small groups to achieve shared learning goals - learning through group work rather than alone.

Other terms - cooperative learning - team learning - group learning - peer-assisted learning.

Features - intentional design (learning is structured) - co-laboring (all participants must contribute more or less equally) - meaningful learning (students must increase their knowledge or deepen their understanding)


Subtle difference between cooperative and collaborative learning - whereas the goal of cooperative learning is to work together in harmony and mutual support to find the solution, the goal of collaborative learning is to develop autonomous, articulate, thinking people, even if at times such a goal encourages dissent and competition that seems to undercut the ideals of cooperative learning.


Types of groups:

1. Formal - last from one class period to several weeks - whatever it takes to complete a specific task or assignment - purpose is to accomplish shared goals, to capitalize on different talents and knowledge of the group, and to maximize the learning of everyone in the group.

2. Informal - temporary groups that last for only one discussion or one class period - purpose is to ensure active learning

3. Base - long-term groups with a stable membership, more like learning communities - purpose is to provide support and encouragement and to help students feel connected to a community of learners



1. Positive interdependence: success of individuals is linked to success of the group 

2. Promotive interaction: students are expected to actively help and support one another - members share resources and support and encourage each other's efforts to learn

3. Individual and group accountability: group is held accountable for achieving its goals - each member is accountable for contributing his or her share of the work - students are assessed individually

4. Development of teamwork skills: students are required to learn academic subject matter (task work) and also to learn the interpersonal and small-group skills required to function as part of a group (teamwork)

5. Group processing: students should learn to evaluate their group productivity - to describe what member actions are helpful and unhelpful - to make decisions about what to continue or change  


Schema: cognitive structure that consists of facts, ideas, and associations organized into a meaningful system of relationships.


Taxonomy of collaborative skills

  • interpersonal skills
  • group management skills
  • inquiry skills
  • conflict resolution skills
  • synthesis and presentation skills





Listener, observer, note taker

Active problem solver, contributor, discussant

Low or moderate expectations of preparation for class

High expectations of preparation for class

Private presence in classroom with few or no risks

Public presence with many risks

Attendance dictated by personal choice

Attendance dictated by community expectation

Competition with peers

Collaborative work with peers

Responsibilities and self-definition associated with learning independently

Responsibilities and self-definition associated with learning interdependently

Seeing teachers and texts as the sole sources of authority and knowledge

Seeing peers, self, and the community as additional and important sources of authority and knowledge

MacGregor (1990, p.25)


For effective collaborative work, group size usually ranges from 2 – 6 students.

Try not to change group memberships, but keep them intact as long as possible, as groups take time to mature, and some of the most valuable learning experiences come from learning to work through difficult disagreements.


Research supports heterogeneous grouping because working with diverse students exposes individuals to people with different ideas, backgrounds, and experiences.

Additionally, diverse groups are more productive and better suited for multidimensional tasks.

There are, however, disadvantages:

1. Students can be uncomfortable with the diversity of opinion and the possible tension that results from disagreement.

2. Distributing minority or female students among groups to achieve heterogeneity can isolate them, putting them into the position of being the sole representative of their group.

3. When academic achievement is used to create a heterogeneous group, there may be insufficient opportunities for low achievers to show leadership and not enough contact between high achievers.


Homogeneous groups offer advantages:

1. Students who share common characteristics may feel sufficiently at ease with each other to discuss or explore highly sensitive or personal issues.

2. These groups may also master most efficiently highly structured skill-building tasks.

3. These groups may be good for language learning or other specific content mastery where group reinforcement of similar knowledge or skill is important.

4. Students tend to prefer working with students similar to themselves, and hence satisfaction with collaborative learning often increases.

The greatest disadvantage:

Students do not experience the rich interactions and exchange that can occur working with a diverse group of peers.



1. Random: quick, efficient, fair, good for informal groups for short-term assignments

- Free-form – walk among pointing by random selection

- Odd-Even – walk up classroom aisles saying odd, even – then odds turn around and talk to evens

- Count off – one through however many you want in group, then ones together, twos together etc.

- Numbered slips of paper – from hat or just distribute

- Playing cards – four people per group - like Aces, Kings, etc. and to spice things up a Joker can go with any group of their choosing

- Created cards – with A-1 for group A member 1 etc. or use other creative ways to identify teams

- Line up and divide – in order of birthdays, last names alphabetically, height, etc.

- Jigsaw match-ups – find number of pictures, tear up and ask students to find others with matching pieces

- Text match-ups – use a line from some text to have students find partners with matching text

2. Student selection: fast, efficient, students are more comfortable, and thus motivated, but based on friendships so may cause outsiders, or students straying off task

- Free-form – just set number per group

- Group leader choice – assign student leaders, then let them choose groups, may give criteria

- Team hiring – set up team hiring method, some students are employers, others make resumes, a hiring budget is given too

3. Instructor determined: useful for motivating students, but may reinforce homogeneity and students may not be comfortable airing publicly their views on certain topics (stratification is when you select membership based on student characteristics where you organize students in layers then use this information to create groups)

- Show of hands – have students raise hands to respond to questions then assign groups based on responses

- Student sign-up – choose topics to investigate, write on sheets, post around room, and allow students to sign up for preferences

- Single-statement Likert Scale Rating – prepare a statement on issue, ask students to circle 1-5 on Likert Scale, and then batch all ones together, two etc. for homogeneous groups, or batch a 1, a 2, a 3, a 4, and a 5 together for heterogeneous groups

- Corners – design a type of characteristic or interest for each of 4 corners of room, ask students to identify with a corner, then for homogeneous keep corners together, for heterogeneous pick one from each corner

- Essay – students write essay on controversial issue – batch by answers

- Data Sheet – use data to select homogeneous or heterogeneous groups

- Course-based test scores – use pretest or recent scores to form groups based on level of knowledge

- Learning style – personality or learning style inventory (using Myers-Briggs etc.)

- Discipline-Related Products – groups formed based on product, achievement

- College-based Achievement Ranking – past grades, standardized exams, entrance exams, etc.


Assign roles to each group member – gives each student a purpose for participating and encourages interdependence, thus improving group processes – use count-off to assign roles or playing cards



Moderates team discussion

Keeps group on task

Ensures everyone assumes their share of work

Makes sure all have opportunity to learn, participate, earn others’ respect



Records assigned team activities

Takes notes summarizing discussion

Keeps all necessary records, attendance, check-offs

Completes worksheets, written assignments, for submission to instructor



Serves as group spokesperson

Orally summarizes group’s activities, conclusions

Assist recorder with preparations of reports, worksheets



Keeps group aware of time constraints

Works with facilitator to keep all on task

Can assume role of missing group member

Responsible for any set-up needed

Responsible for cleanup after session ends



If group work folders are used, picks up folder, distributes material, returns all papers, assignments, notes to team members

Ensures all relevant class materials are in folder at end of session



Assumes role of any missing member of fills in as needed




2 most critical elements in constructing collaborative learning:

  1. Designing an appropriate learning task
  2. Structuring procedures to engage students actively in performing that task






Probe facts and basic knowledge

What research evidence supports…?


Examine assumptions, conclusions, and interpretations

How else might we account for…?


Ask for comparison of themes, ideas, or issues

How does ____ compare to ____?


Probe motives or causes

Why did ____?


Call for a conclusion or action

In response to ___, what should ___do?

Cause and effect

Ask for causal relationships between ideas, actions, or events

If ____ occurred, what would happen?


Expand the discussion

What are additional ways that ___?


Pose a change in the facts or issues

Suppose ___ had been the case, would the outcome have been the same?


Seek to identify the most important issue

From all that we have discussed, what is the most important ___?


Elicit synthesis

What themes or lessons have emerged from ___?


Challenge students to find solutions to real or hypothetical situations

What if? (To be motivating, students should be able to make some progress on finding a solution, and there should be more than one solution)


Help students to uncover the underlying meaning of things

From whose viewpoint or perspective are we seeing, hearing, and reading?

What does this mean?

What may have been intended by …?


Probe for relationships and ask students to connect theory to practice

How does this apply to that?

Knowing this, how would you…?


Require students to assess and make judgments

Which of these are better?

Why does it matter?

So what?


Require students to examine the validity of statements, arguments, and conclusions and to analyze their thinking and challenge their own assumptions

How do we know?

What is the evidence?

How reliable is the evidence?



Bloom’s taxonomy


Remembering previously learned material

(definitions, principles, formulas)

Task Prompts











Round Robin: students in each group speak, moving from one to the next

Note-taking pairs: students work together to create an improved, partner version of their notes

Group Grid: students in groups place information into blank cells of a grid



Involves understanding the meaning of remembered material

(restating or citing examples)

Task Prompts





Put in your own words

Explain the main idea


Think-Pair-Share: students think individually, then pair up with classmate and discuss before sharing with entire class

Team matrix: students team up and discriminate between similar concepts by noticing and marking on a chart

Dialogue journals: record thoughts in journal and share with peers for comments and questions


Using information in new contect to solve a problem, answer a question, or perform a task

Task Prompts





Write an example




Buzz Groups: form small groups and ask to discuss questions

Role Play: create scenario, ask students to act out or assume identities that require them to apply knowledge, skills, or understanding

Think-Aloud Pair Problem Solving (TAPPS): students take turns solving problems aloud as their partners listen


Thinking critically and in depth

Breaking a concept into its parts

Explaining interrelationships

Distinguishing relevant from extraneous material

Task Prompts

Identify motives/courses

Draw conclusions

Determine evidence



Why does this happen?


Critical debates: form teams, analyze issue, develop arguments, determine evidence, debate

Learning cell: develop questions about reading assignment/learning activity, then form pairs, have students answer their partners’ questions

Word webs: students analyze a course-related concept by generating list of related ideas and organizing into a graphic or using lines to represent connections


Putting parts together to form a new whole

Solving a problem requiring creativity or originality

Task Prompts








How can we improve

What would happen if

Can you devise

How can we solve


Analytic teams: form teams and ask individuals to perform component tasks of an analysis

Group investigation: have student teams plan, conduct, and report on an in-depth project

Team anthologies: have student teams compile and annotate an anthology (collection) of course-related materials


Using a set of criteria to arrive at a reasoned judgment of the value of something

Task Prompts





Three-step interview: have student pairs take turns interviewing each other, asking questions that require a student to assess the value of competing claims, then make judgment as to best

Jigsaw: form small groups, ask students to develop knowledge about a given topic and formulate the most effective ways of teaching it to others

Paper seminar: assign individual students to write an original paper and then present to small group for feedback and discussion


Teachers know how well students are learning using Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)

Identifying goals is an important starting point for assessing student learning. In an effort to help teachers identify, clarify, and rank teaching goals, Angelo and Cross developed self-scorable Teaching Goals Inventory (TGI)


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Facilitating student collaboration

  1. Introducing the activity
    1. Explain the activity
    2. Clarify the objectives
    3. Outline the procedures
    4. Present examples if needed
    5. Remind groups of the rules for group interaction
    6. Set time limits
    7. Provide the prompt
    8. Query the students for understanding, and let students ask questions
  2. Observing and interacting with groups
    1. Be available to clarify instruction, review procedures, and answer questions about the assignment
    2. Paraphrase or ask a question to clarify what a student has said
    3. Compliment the student on an interesting or insightful comment
    4. Elaborate on a student’s statement or suggest a new perspective
    5. Energize by using humor or by asking for additional contributions
    6. Disagree with a student comment, but be gentle
    7. Mediate between students
    8. Pull together ideas by pointing out relationships
    9. Summarize the group’s major views
  3. Addressing problems

Group decision-making techniques


Group generates ideas – holds open discussions

One person (leader) makes decision

Quick technique but does not maximize strengths of individuals and group may not be motivated to implement decision made by one person


Period of discussion – vote – majority wins

Relies on democratic process

Majority overwhelming minority views may encourage factionalism

Negative minority

Group holds vote for most unpopular idea – eliminates it – votes again until only one idea is left

Democratic – can build consensus – but time consuming – members could feel resentful if their idea was unpopular


Group discuses – negotiates till everyone understands and supports decision

All members have opportunity to express themselves and influence decision

May be difficult to reach consensus and extremely time consuming

Using criteria

Participants explore, identify, agree on criteria for successful solution – evaluate alternatives against these criteria

Objective measure of quality to solution but may be difficult to come up with appropriate criteria


Groups create compromise decision rather than single decision that excludes other decisions

Implementation may take longer as more than one idea is considered


  1. Inequitable participation: address over- or under-participation using
    1. Think-pair-share
    2. Affinity grouping
    3. Talking chips
    4. Round Robin
  2. Student resistance to group work: find out reason – involve student in making group ground rules – consider using
    1. Analytic teams
    2. Paper seminar
  3. Off-task behavior: by two or more students socially
  4. Groups that don’t get along: first allow them time to work it out, then ask them to identify issue, and finally work with them to resolve. As a last resort reorganize groups.
  5. Several or no students want to assume leadership: effective leaders are able to share leadership and help others succeed – also important to be a good follower – in the case of no one wanting to assume role – flip a coin or take turns
  6. Different ability levels: we all have different gifts
    1. Linguistically intelligent
    2. Logistically-mathematically intelligent
    3. Spatially intelligent
    4. Bodily-kinesthetically intelligent
    5. Musically intelligent
    6. Interpersonally intelligent
    7. Naturalistically intelligent

            Techniques that work include:

- Fishbowl

- Jigsaw

- Think-Pair-Share

- Role Play

  1. Groups that work at different rates: set time limit and make it public – assign timekeeper
  2. Attendance issues: address issues individually and allow alternative solutions for genuine reasons
  3. Cheating: delineate the different between cheating and collaborating – consider using:
    1. Group investigation
    2. Round robin
    3. Buzz groups
    4. Documented problem solutions
  4. Reposting out techniques: valuable closing stage because:
    1. Enhances learning when others share their learning
    2. Students begin to own knowledge
    3. Helps them reinforce ideas hearing from others of similar ideas
    4. Recurring themes reinforces they are on right track
    5. Can reveal omissions so they can fill learning gaps

Activities include:

  • Stand up and share: each round only shares new info
  • Symposium, Colloquium, Panel, Seminar: presentation followed by discussion
  • Simulated business meeting: presenting to a board using multimedia
  • Team rotation: Team A moves to Team B to present ideas while members of Team B listen and ask questions – then they reverse roles
  • Three stay one stray: Person from Team A is designated to move to Team B to report while other team members remain behind to hear from a traveling team member from Team C
  • Rotating trios: from a group of 4, one stays behind as group expert while other 3 move to new station to learn from another group – student stays behind for only one rotation
  • Poster session: small groups make posters, then pin on wall, all students walk around and view other people’s posters
  • Small group stations: Instructor sets up several stations, teams walk around, view issue, discuss, then post response, finally individual students move from station to station to read all responses
  1. Helping groups achieve closure: to see connections and synthesize information  - try using:
    1. Think-Pair-Share
    2. Note-taking pairs
    3. Test-taking teams
    4. Sequence chains
    5. Word webs
    6. Dialogue journals

Instructor synthesis can be effective too:

  • Summarize salient points and recurring themes from group reports
  • Clarify details
  • Point out misconceptions or inaccurate reports
  • Add information where omissions occurred
  • Address any unanswered or nagging questions
  • Point out implications
  • Help make connections to previous content and content not yet addressed
  • Review objectives with the group
  1. Helping students celebrate their achievements: part of debriefing process – recognizes positive experiences and gains in learning – public notice of students achievements
    1. Gallery of achievement: groups list accomplishments – post on wall – as people walk through they place a check mark next to what applies to them – note any unusual or unexpected accomplishments
    2. Group photo
    3. Party with food – potluck or pizza


Grading and evaluating Collaborative Learning

1. Ensuring individual accountability and positive group interdependence: grades must reflect an individual and a group grade – consider using

a. Test-taking teams: first teams study a unit together – then bring list of questions they expect to be on the exam – then individual students take teacher-prepared exam for individual grade – teams discuss and submit team responses on test for group grade – students receive combination of individual (2/3) and group (1/3) scores

b. Group grid: to help students organize and classify information visually – for individual accountability use different colored pens for each student

c. Dialogue journals: divide page vertically – on left student records his or her notes – on the right partner writes in comments – both sides are graded

2. General guidelines for grading collaborative work: not every activity needs to be graded and not every activity needs to be collaborative – some guidelines for teachers:

- Appreciate the complexity of grading (flaws and constraints)

- Recognize that there is no such thing as absolutely objective evaluation

- Distribute time effectively

- Be open to change

- Listen to and observe students

- Be very clear and explicit about meanings attached to grades

- Communicate and collaborate with students

- Integrate grading with other key processes

- Seize the ‘teachable moment’

- Make student learning the primary goal

- Be the teacher first, a gatekeeper last

- Encourage learning-centered motivation

3. Important decisions in grading collaborative work

a. Deciding what to evaluate (student achievement and student participation)

b. Deciding whether to evaluate for formative or summative purposes

Formative: to provide teachers and students with information on how well students are learning in order to help them improve – almost never graded – aim is to educate and improve student (or teacher) performance not to audit it

Summative: gather evidence to assign grades that becomes course grade and is reflected on transcript

c. Deciding who does the evaluating

- Instructor

- Student self-evaluation

- Student peer-evaluation

- Group evaluation


This free personality test is based on Carl Jung's and Isabel Briggs Myers' typological approach to personality. Discover your personality type.

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Six traits recommended for better retention of information

(Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip & Dan Heath):

  1. Keep ideas SIMPLE
  2. Make things UNEXPECTED – keep your students guessing as to what might be coming next
  3. Provide CONCRETE examples – stray away from speaking in the abstract
  4. Make sure the information is CREDIBLE – know your sources
  5. Feed off of EMOTION – emotions facilitate caring about something; in this case, keep your students feeling through your lessons and they will more likely remember them
  6. Share a STORY – storytelling is one effective strategy to bring your information to life and provide it meaning and relevance for learners


For more information about these six traits for better retention of information, please visit

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Why group formation is key to successful collaborative learning - Dr. Battaglia, ERAU, 2016

- benefits of group work:

a. 80% of all employees in America work in teams or groups

b. group work allows for both cooperation and competition

c. increased student engagement

d. greater student ownership and greater course satisfaction

e. enhanced independent thinking

f. deeper learning

g. application of knowledge

h. greater retention of information

i. groups stimulate creativity

j. groups have more information than a single individual


- cooperative learning: (and collaborative, as the terms  are often used interchangeably in the literature) is an approach to teaching that departs from the traditional lecture-base format

Slavin (1983, p. 3) defines it as: "a set of task structures that require students to spend much of their class time working together in 4-6 member heterogeneous groups. They also use cooperative incentive structures, in which students earn recognition, rewards, or (occasionally) grades based on the academic performance of their groups."


- most common strategies used to form student groups:

1. students form their own groups

2. instructors form the groups

- groups assigned by the instructor perform better than self-selected groups

- randomized methods: playing cards, candy, birthdays

- designed heterogeneous grous: academic ability, cultural backgrounds, gender, leaders and followers, introverts and extroverts

3. groups are randomly generated


- keys for long-term group success:

A. Accountability

1. team policy statement

2. accountability mechanism: workplace progressive discipline policy (group warning, instructor warning, termination)

B. Interdependence

1. designated group roles: discussion facilitator, timekeeper/task master, recorder/summarizer, reporter/spokesperson

2. assigning team roles


- managing group accountability and interdependence: weekly progress reports va canvas (objectives for the week, who attended the meetings, what the group discussed, accomplishments that week)

- group assignments: use rubrics!


- 6-3-5: 6 people in group - 3 ideas of each person in group - takes 5 minutes to do 

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Significant Learning Course Design Series - By Dr. Dina Battaglia, ERAU, 2015-16


1. Identifying our starting lines and understanding the learning environment

- design with the end in mind

- significant means to student personally

- object stories - group builder - bag of random objects - start story - everyone continues story

- A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning - Dr. L. Dee Fink

- Importance of understanding course design:

a. Gives students a reason to do the assigned readings

b. Diminishes student boredom by replacing lecture with active learning

c. Gives students more experience with what they have learned through application, thus resulting in greater retention of knowledge

d. Makes you 'dream' for teaching and learning more probable 

- Situational factors to consider:

a. Specific context of the teaching/learning situation (number of students in class, lower, upper or graduate level, length and frequency of class meetings, online or in person or in lab delivery, physical elements)

b. General context of the learning situation (learning expectations by university, department, college,  profession, society, students)

c. Nature of the subject (theoretical, practical, or combinaiton, convergent or divergent, and changes or controversies within field)

d. Characteristics of the learner (life situation, prior knowledge, experiences, initial feelings towards subject, learning goals, expectations, preferred learning styles)

e. Characteristics of the teacher (beliefs, attitudes, towards teaching, learning, students, subject matter, and strengths/weaknesses) 


2. Defining what is most important

- Do not let students form their own groups - candy trick with nuggets

- Start with learning centered paradigm 

a. What would I like the impact of this course to be on my students 2-3 years after the course is over?

b. What would distinguish students who have taken this course from students who have not?

- Taxonomy of significant learning

- Dream is what you are shooting for - learning goals are what get you there

- High visibility is what gives one a clear image of what it looks like 

- A primer on writing effective learning-centered course goals - USAF

- Questions for formulating significant learning goals:

a. A year (or more) after this course is over, I want and hope that students will ___________

b. Foundational knowledge: key information (facts, terms, formulae, concepts, principles, relationships, etc.) to remember in the future and key ideas (or perspectives) to understand in this course

c. Application goals: kinds of thinking (critical thinking, creative thinking, practical thinking) and skills to manage complex projects

d. Integration goals: connections (similarities and interactions) within the course, other courses,  and life

e. Human Dimensions goals: learn about themselves, understand others, and interact with others

f. Caring goals: changes/values/feelings/interests

g. "Learning how to learn" goals: to be good learners - self-directed learners


3. How do we know they are learning?

- Assessment of learning

a. Auditive assessment - backward-looking 

b. Educative assessment - 4 components (forward-looking assessment, self-assessment by learners, criteria and standards, and FIDeLity feedback)

- Feedback is key!

a. Facilitate the development of self-assessment (reflection) in learning

b. Encourage teacher and peer dialogue around learning

c. Help clarify what good performance is (goals, criteria, standards, expected)

d. Provide opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance

e. Deliver high quality information to students about their learning

f. Encourage positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem

g. Provide information to teachers that can be used to help shape the learning

  • Forward-Looking Assessment:
  • This procedure incorporates exercises, questions, and/or problems that reflect real-life situations. Instructors should “look forward” to beyond the time when the course is over and ask: In what kind of situations do I expect students to need, or be able to use, this knowledge? The response should assist the instructor to formulate questions or problems that represent real-life context.
  • Criteria and Standards:
  • The criteria and standards for assessing students’ assignments or projects must be clearly explained to students. Such criteria must communicate to students the characteristics of high quality work. For each criterion, standards must be established to define work that is acceptable, good, or exceptional. Have at least two or three levels of standards for each criterion.
  • Self-assessment:
  • Students should have opportunities to engage in self-assessment as a way to prepare them for the future. Allow students to practice in small groups until they are confident in assessing their own individual work. In addition, encourage students to discuss and develop criteria for the evaluation of their own work.
  • Feedback:
  • Learning-centered assessment works best when instructors have frequent opportunities to find out more about their students in order to help them. You can use the acronym FIDeLity to help you provide the best feedback. It is best to provide feedback as frequently (F) and as immediate as possible (I); be discriminating in communicating what the difference is between poor, acceptable, and exceptional work (D); and be loving, empathic and sensitive when delivering feedback (L).


4. Let's get active!

- Interdependence:

a. Recorder - scribe, clear notes

b. Reporter - presents, summarizes

c. Task manager - keep group convo on point

d. Time keeper - keeps track of time/progress

- Carousel - variation of jigsaw classroom - large amount of text - break into teams - condense and post each piece - one person from each team presents - the rest rotate - always one stays behind

- Active learning - 4 components

a. experience - doing (Note: just because you do does not mean you are actively learning)

b. experience - observing (Note: observe is not look - listen is not hear)

c. reflective dialogue with self

d. reflective dialogue with others

- Rich learning experiences - learning experiences in which students are able to simultaneously acquire multiple kinds of higher level learning

a. debates

b. role playing

c. simulations

d. dramatizations

e. service-learning

f. situational observations

g. authentic projects

- In-depth reflective dialogue - an important part of active learning that gives students time and encouragement to reflect on the meaning of their learning experience

a. with whom? oneself (journaling, learning portfolios) and others (instructor, other students, pepole outside of class)

b. about what? subject of the course and learning process (what, how, value, what else)

c. written forms - one-minute papers, weekly journal entries, learning portfolios

- Procedures for assessing different kinds of significant learning - some possibilities

- 3 examples of 3-column tables

- when writing syllabus - write as if you're inviting them to a party not sentencing them to jail

- Integrated Course Design - L. Dee Fink


5. Bringing it all together

- Instructional strategy - a set of learning activities, arranged in a particular sequence so that the energy for learning increases and accumulates as students go through the sequence - Fink

- Methods for integration

a. Functional

b. Chronological



Kolb experiential learning model

Critical Incident Questionnaire - Stephen Brookfield


Reading Circles get students to do the reading - Jane Gee


Ten strategies for getting students to take responsibility for their learning - Sara Jane Coffman


Gaining student compliance with pre-class assignments

- the barriers

- the payoff - making the assignment worthwhile

1. some scary stats:

a. 20% of students do not buy textbooks

b. 20-30% of students comply with course reading assignments

c. 50% of students at 4-year institutions lack the skills to perform complex literacy tasks

2. why don't our students read?

a. students believe the instructor will present important information during class - Doyle, 2008

b. students feel too overwhelmed when they cannot keep up with the reading

c. students lack the necessary prior knowledge to benefit fully from the reading (jargon)

d. students fail to relate the relevancy of the reading to the course

e. students do not recognize a sufficient payoff for reading the assignments

f. students think that reading before the exam is sufficient

3. why students struggle understanding what they read

a. students skim for information

b. students often multitask while reading (social media, watch TV, texting, surfing internet)

c. students do not know how to organize the information from the readings given the structure of textbooks and scholarly articles

d. students struggle with understanding the vocabulary

3. are you guilty too?

a. not using the reading in class

b. using lectures to summarize the reading for students

c. having unrealistic expectations about students' reading abilities

d. failing to make reading relevant for students

e. failing to scaffold difficulty and content of reading


- Critical Reading Strategies

a. Marginal notes/nutshell passages (forbid the highlighter! - write out why you wanted to highlight/underline something - why is the passage important - summarize key points - ask questions in a conversational manner with the author - document criticisms - express reactions and responses to the text)

b. Focused reading

c. SEEI (State = write the main concept/idea/definition in a single sentence, but no more than two sentences; Elaborate = in other words.... write one or two paragraphs in your own words about the main concepts/points of the reading with detailed explanation - this is not a summary; Examplify = provide an example or two of how the concepts can be applied; Illustrate = provide an analogy or draw a picture to illustrate the concept(s) from the reading using pictorial depiction, comparison, or metaphor)

d. Play the believing and doubting game

e. Reading logs (students write regularly about what they are reading, but, they choose what they want to say - students connect the readings to their own personal experiences, argue with the text, disagree, analyze it, or even evaluate it - personal reflections and musings are strongly encouraged)  

f. Reading circles (discussion director - summarizer - illustrator - literary luminary - connector - questioner)

g. Graphic organizers/concept maps

h. low stakes quizzing for formative assessment purposes


- take home points

a. preview the assigned reading

b. arouse student interest prior to reading (interest-arousing pretests, exploratory  writing task about a problem introduced in the reading)

c. design a focused, informal writing-to-learn task based on the reading (newspaper editorial column, journal)

d. do not repeat the reading during lecture

e. have students write something in response to the text with a payoff?

f. monitor compliance


11 strategies for getting students to read what's assigned - Faculty Focus





- three approaches:

1. Virtues approach (honor codes, discussions, tutorials)

2. Policing approach (Turnitin, Safe Assign, Google)

3. Prevention approach (course design, assignment creation)


Dr. Battaglia's 12 course design strategies to promote greater academic integrity

1. Student generated course code of conduct

Ask students how THEY will create a community of integrity in the course during the first day of class and have them write the class code working in groups of 3-4 and require the groups to collaborate on producing the final document using google docs.

Have each student sign the final document.

2. Promote learning over cheating

Provide early success opportunities in the course.

Provide frequent opportunities to demonstrate learning.

Provide choices in how students demonstrate learning.

Provide effort-focused and achievement-focused timely and relevant feedback. 

3. Create authentic learning tasks and assignments

Focus assignment on distinctive, individual, non-duplicative tasks or on each student's individual learning interests/goals that require integration of material.

Ask specific questions.

Require specific analyses.

4. Design for active learning

Require students to apply key course concepts to a relevant, meaningful problem, situation, career-oriented scenario.

5. Use collaborative learning

Allow students to collaborate on some designated assignments while also incorporating peer and self-assessments.

6. Low stakes vs. high stakes assessments

use multiple low-stakes assessments rahter than a few high-stake assessments.

7. Scaffolding

Design assignments to be completed in stages and/or assign a "course portfolio".

8. Emphasize process over product

Focus attention on student demonstration of the learning process as much or more than their ability to generate the right answer (product).

9. Timed online quizzes/exams

Limit the time allowed to complete online assignments.

10. Incorporate self-assessments

Ask students to post self-reflections about what they learned during the completion of an assignment in a course blog or journal entry.

11. Incorporate presentations

Provide opportunities throughout the course for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of course material through oral presentations that include question and answer sessions.

12. Give open book exams

Use the textbook as a reference source for completing application-based exam questions.




Affinity Diagram

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Can Graffiti be Used to Facilitate Learning?


Homework as Assessment - Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning


Teaching Millennial Students - Washington State University

Teaching Millennials

Teaching the Millennials - Jeff Nevid

The Mindset List - 2019 - Beloit College


Strategies for effective lecturing - Dr. Battaglia, ERAU, 2016

- human polling - letters on wall A-E around room - show multiple choice questions - people walk over to letter they chose

- Just in time teaching

- Attention span - no more than 7 minute chunks

- know your audience (names, background knowledge, level of interest in course, attention span)

- common lecturing pitfalls:

a. talking faster, making it harder for your audience to keep up

b. covering material in less detail, focusing only on the surface-level information

c. limiting opportunities for questions or discussion, because questions and discussion are seen as a distraction or hindrance to your goal

- plan, plan, plan:

a. prepare a cognitive map or an outline for your lecture, including only 3-4 main ideas to present (need to know vs. want to know)

b. show the relationship between ides of the day, learning objectives, and overall course content

c. pacing

d. conversational tone

e. provide concrete, meaningful examples

- summarize and engage

- the choice is yours

- finish strong - when closing:

a. provide an explicit statement of the relationship between the 3-4 main points focused on during class with the day's learning objectives and overall course goals

b. ask students to complete a 3-5 question multile-choice quiz before the end of class to assess their understanding of the lesson's main points (or a variation)

c. leave them with a thought-provoking question to ponder as an introduction to the next class meeting's topic


a. current memory research indicates that most learning occurs OUTSIDE the classroom when students read, reflect, write or experience the information given in lecture

b. fill your lectures with analogies, metaphors, and examples that are real world so they can connect to the students' backgrounds

c. the brain is an analog processor, meaning, it works by analogy and metaphor. It relates whole concepts to one another and looks for similarities, differences, or relationships between them. It does not assemble thoughts and feelings from bits of data - Sylwester, 1999

d. write your test questions the same day you give the lecture to increase greater alignment of the test questions with class content


strategies for effective lecturing.pdf
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Getting Started with Active Learning - Dr. Battaglia, ERAU, 2016

- benefits of active learning - student learning increases when:

a. you introduce student activity into lecture

b. you use strategies that promote student engagement (collaborative learning, cooperative learning, problem-based learning)

- active learning must have assessment and reflection

- background knowledge probe

a. classroom assessment technique (CAT)

b. designed to help instructors determine most effective starting point for a given lesson and most appropriate level at which to begin instruction

c. provides baseline data for important concepts that will subsequently be developed through a number of future lessons

d. probes can be used as early as the first day of class in classes of any size before introducing a new concept, topic in the course syllabus, etc.

- think-pair-share

- numbered heads together: 

a. each member of the team is assigned a number

b. team members discuss posed questions, solve problems, participate in a team activity, etc

c. instructor calls out a number, designating only students with that number to act as the group spokesperson

d. promotes individual accountability when participating in collaborative learning activities

- wordle

- quizlet

- 10 methods of participation at any time:

1. open discussion: ask a question and open it up to the entire group without any further structuring - you can limit the length of the discussion by prefacing the question with "i'd like to ask 4 or 5 students to share...."

2. response cards: pass out index cards and request anonymous answers to your questions - you can then pass the cards around the group for further discussion

3. polling: design a short survey that is filled out and tallied on the spot, or poll students verbally - instructional technology tools such as clickers and Poll Everywhere could also be used

4. subgroup discussion: break students into subgroups or 3 or more to share and record their information - use subgroup discussions when you have sufficient time to process questions and issues or in large lecture classes

5. learning partners: ask students to work on a task or discuss key questions with the students seated next to them - when time is limited and subgroup discussions are not optimal, learning partners work well, and provides students with supportive relationships among their peers 

6. whips: go around the group and obtain short responses to key questions, often times using sentence stems for them to use to complete the statement - request that students provide a different contribution to the sentence stem to avoid repetition 

7. panels: invite a small number of students to present their views in front of the entire class - use panels when time permits to have a focused, serious response to your questions - rotate panelists to increase participation 

8. fishbowl: ask a portion of the class to form a discussion circle, and have another hroup of students form a listening circle around them - exchange students from the listening circle to the discussion circle to add to the richness of the discussion

9. games: use a fun exercise or a quiz show - Jeopardy or Family Feud - to glean students' ideaas, knowledge or skill - game-based learning can include video games as well as board games and card games

10. calling on the next speaker: ask students to raise their hands when they want to share their views and request that the present soeaker call on the next speaker - this technique works well when there is a lot of interest in the discussion or activity and promotes peer-to-peer interaction


- application card: CAT - after students learn about an important principle, generalization, theory, or procedure, instructor asks them to write down at least one possible, real-world application for what they just learned on an index card - allows students to see the potential relevance of what they are learning - applications must be novel and fresh (not ones they have read in the text or learned in class)


Classroom Assessment Technique Examples - Angelo and Cross


Making active learning work - University of Minnesota


Active Learning for the College Classoom - Cal State


Common active learning mistakes - Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning


Applying Dale's cone of experience to increase learning and retention

Dale's Cone of Experience and its impact on effective teaching


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Blueprint from the book Quiet by Susan Cain


Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. Cherish your nearest and dearest. Work with colleagues you like and respect. Scan new acquaintances for those who might fall into the former categories or whose company you enjoy for its own sake. And don’t worry about socializing with everyone else. Relationships make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity.


The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting. For some it’s a Broadway spotlight; for others, a lamplit desk. Use your natural powers – of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity – to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.


Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it. If this requires public speaking or networking or other activities that make you uncomfortable, do them anyway. But accept that they’re difficult, get the training you need to make them easier, and reward yourself when you’re done.


Quit your job as a TV anchor and get a degree in library science. But if TV anchoring is what you love, then create an extroverted persona to get yourself through the day. Here’s a rule of thumb for networking events: one new honest-to-goodness relationship is worth ten fistfuls of business cards. Rush home afterward and kick back on your sofa. Carve out restorative niches.


Respect your loved ones’ need for socializing and your own for solitude (and vice versa if you’re an extrovert).


Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to. Stay home on New Year’s Eve if that’s what makes you happy. Skip the committee meeting. Cross the street to avoid making aimless chitchat with random acquaintances. Read. Cook. Run. Write a story. Make a deal with yourself that you’ll attend a set number of social events in exchange for not feeling guilty when you beg off.


If your children are quiet, help them make peace with new situations and new people, but otherwise let them be themselves. Delight in the originality of their minds. Take pride in the strength of their consciences and the loyalty of their friendships. Don’t expect them to follow the gang. Encourage them to follow their passions instead. Throw confetti when they claim the fruits of those passions, whether it’s on the drummer’s throne, on the softball field, or on the page.


If you’re a teacher, enjoy your gregarious and participatory students. But don’t forget to cultivate the shy, the gentle, the autonomous, the ones with single-minded enthusiasms for chemistry sets or parrot taxonomy or nineteenth-century art. They are the artists, engineers, and thinkers of tomorrow.


If you’re a manager, remember tat one third to one half of your workforce is probably introverted, whether they appear that way or not. Think twice about how you design your organization’s office space. Don’t expect introverts to get jazzed up about open office plans, or for that matter, lunchtime birthday parties or team-building retreats. Make the most of introverts’ strengths – these are the people who can help you think deeply, strategize, solve complex problems, and spot canaries in your coal mine.


Also, remember the dangers of the New Groupthink. If it’s creativity you’re after, ask your employees to solve problems alone before sharing their ideas. If you want the wisdom of the crowd, gather it electronically, or in writing, and make sure people can’t see each other’s ideas until everyone’s had a chance to contribute. Face-to-face contact is important because it builds trust, but group dynamics contain unavoidable impediments to creative thinking. Arrange for people to interact one-on-one and in small, casual groups. Don’t mistake assertiveness or eloquence for good ideas. If you have a proactive workforce (and I hope you do), remember that they may perform better under an introverted leader than under an extroverted or charismatic one.


Whoever you are, bear in mind that appearance is not reality. Some people act like extroverts, but the effort costs them in energy, authenticity, and even physical health. Others seem aloof or self-contained, but their inner landscapes are rich and full of drama. So the next time you see a person with a composed face and a soft voice, remember that inside her mind she might be solving an equation, composing a sonnet, designing a hat. She might, that is, be deploying the powers of quiet.


We know from myths and fairy tales that there are many different kinds of powers in this world. One child is given a light saber, another a wizard’s education. The trick is not to amass all the different kinds of available power, but to use well the kind you’ve been granted. Introverts are offered keys to private gardens full of riches. To possess such a key is to tumble like Alice down her rabbit hole. She didn’t choose to go to Wonderland - but she made of it an adventure that was fresh and fantastic and very much her own.


Lewis Carroll was an introvert, too, by the way. Without him, there would be no Alice in Wonderland. And by now, this shouldn’t surprise us.




(by Dr. Battaglia, Sept 2016-May 2017)

- pursue collective, sustained inquiry into specific issues and questions about teaching and learning in higher education

- strive to foster a collegial environment that values pedagogical exploration, experimentation and renewal, and promotes learning together

- represent an excellent opportunity for faculty members to engage in interdisciplinary inquiry and investigation

- provide a forum to engage faculty in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

- cross-disciplinary group of faculty and professional staff

- active, collaborative, and year-long program focused on enhancing teaching and learning

- regular meetings, seminars, and/or activities that promote learning, development, SoTL, and community building

- present work at a selected teaching and learning conference

- receive a letter of recognition for your work in the FLC, with a copy sent to your chairperson, dean, and CAO

- successful FLCs balance effective facilitation with effective administration

FLC Administrator

FLC Facilitator

Request ERNIE Team Site or CANVAS course shell for FLC

Collectively, develop and confirm FLC goals and outcomes

Select and reserve (if required) meeting space

(anywhere physically, even Skype, once a month for 90-120 minutes)

Develop meeting agendas

Develop and maintain budget (submit to Dr. D within 6 weeks)

Select meeting structure

Manage funds

Facilitate group formation and processing

Document meeting discussions and post on Team Site/CANVAS

Consider “value added” for members



University of Florida - Center for Instructional Technology and Training

Using active learning instructional strategies to create excitement and enhance learning - University of South Florida

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Best Practices in Online Teaching Strategies - Hanover Research Council

Online Learning Insights - Learning Online is not a spectator sport: How to make it active

Active learning in online training: What eLearning Professionals should know

Active learning and creating courses that facilitate active learning in your organization - Litmos

Strategies to incorporate active learning into online teaching - University of South Florida

Active Learning Online - MSU

Interactive Activities in Online and Hybrid Courses

From Passive Viewing to Active Learning: Simple Techniques for Applying Active Learning Strategies to Online Course Videos - Faculty Focus

A model for Active Learning in the Online Classroom - University of Wisconsin

Faculty Learning Communities: Ten Necessary Qualities for Building Community

International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL)


The role of the facilitator in FLCs.pdf
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Qualities of an FLC:

  1. Safety and trust – so participants can connect with each other
  2. Openness – freedom to share thoughts without fear of retribution
  3. Respect – members need to feel valued and respected
  4. Responsiveness – respond respectfully, quickly, welcoming concerns and preferences
  5. Collaboration – consultation and working with and responding to each other
  6. Relevance – relating subject matter to one’s teaching, courses, scholarship, and life experiences
  7. Challenge – expectations should be high, engendering progress, scholarship, and accomplishment
  8. Enjoyment – social opportunities, bonding, invigorating environments
  9. Esprit de corps – generate pride and loyalty
  10. Empowerment – participants gain a new view of themselves and a new sense of confidence in their abilities



  • Facilis = easy (but it really is NOT)
  • Providing leadership without taking reins
  • Balance facilitating for the good of the group with one’s own investment in content or decision making (can use co-facilitators to help with this)
  • Must find ways to help establish a climate conducive to genuine inquiry, risk-taking, learning, and productivity
  • One must note and help adjust the flow of conversation, aid members in negotiating conflict, cultivate members’ sense of ownership of the experiences and the results of their work (and play) together, and encourage increasing member responsibility for the work of leading and even facilitating the group
  • Participating in the intellectual life of the group, yet not imposing ideas or misusing power
  • Not a group’s expert nor its leader, but rather serves the group and creates the possibility for members to achieve their individual and collaborative goals (flexible and accommodating to needs of group members)
  • One focuses more on interpersonal processes as well as approaches to working together than on content; more on others’ contributions than one’s own; more on listening, observing, modeling, and ‘directing traffic’ than on speaking, presenting, or taking the lead
  • Attitude first – orientation, and a set core of commitments important to group success – respect and compassion for all group members – positive attitude and outlook – flexibility – non-defensive posture – neutrality and non-judgmental approach – willingness to operate as servant leader – steadiness – firmness – calmness – centeredness – confidence – adaptiveness – proactivity – responsiveness – resilience – assertiveness – openness – authenticity – humility – optimism – alertness – results-oriented disposition




  • Collective decision-making
  • Personal meaning
  • Genuine inquiry
  • Enjoyment
  • Engaging atmosphere
  • Shared responsibility
  • Shared goal
  • Self-selecting
  • Voluntary
  • Non-threatening
  • Social
  • Intellectually stimulating
  • Creativity
  • Chance to grow and learn
  • Cross-disciplinary
  • Good record keeping – (agenda, notes, minutes, etc.)
  • Chance to explore
  • Meet regularly
  • Meet outside work



FLC Facilitation involves two separate but interrelated responsibilities:

  1. TASK: help group members do intellectual work + manage organizational and logistical details
  2. PROCESS: help group draw on individual member strengths + see that individual needs get voiced and addressed + help mediate challenging personal interactions


Convener: some FLCs designate this person to oversee the work of the FLC – to manage logistics – then all members share the work – this model has no one person in charge on shepherding the task and process


Facilitation during Meetings: 6 tensions that lie across a continuum

  1. from tight to loose structure
  2. from fast to slow pace
  3. from cooperative to competitive interaction
  4. from focus on process to focus on results
  5. from concern with individual needs to concern with group needs
  6. the type of control exerted by the facilitator, from obtrusive to unobtrusive


Facilitating dialogue

  • check your assumptions: “I’m getting the feeling…..”, “It sounds to me as if…..”
  • use specific examples, and agree on what important words mean
  • explain your reasoning or intent
  • ask what others think to make certain you understand
  • focus on needs, not solutions
  •  rather than only advocate or push an agenda, invite questions about your point of view
  • discuss undiscussable issues
  • point out common positions or threads in discussion that are going unrecognized
  • also point out patterns that disrupt conversation or inhibit balanced interactions
  • help participants recognize the territory already covered
  • remind participants of program and group goals, especially at key intervals if the group seems to be stalling or hitting a low point


Tensions and paradoxes are the essence of life – they spark the keenest learning and best use of diversely varying personalities


Constructive controversy is good – discussion – agreement – novel solutions

Destructive controversy is NOT good – manage conflict


Conflict management – 4 memorable steps:

  1. separate the people from the problem (be hard on problem, soft on people, acknowledge emotions as legitimate, build relationships before you need them)
  2. focus on interests, not positions (probe for deeper understanding, modulate tone to emphasize curiosity)
  3. invent options for mutual gain (find win/win, brainstorm strategies, use differences to advantage of differing parties)
  4. find objective criteria (reframe problems, appeal to fair standards and procedures)


Facilitation over the course of the year:

  • Breaking the ice
  • Decision making procedures
  • Group norms
  • Goals (SMART)
  • Assessment and taking stock


SMART goals:

Specific enough to be memorable

Measurable (qualitatively or quantitatively)

Accountable to named volunteers

Realistic enough to get done

Time delimited as to when exactly measures will be taken


FLC Guidelines and Ground rules:

  1. Listen and seek to understand before speaking
  2. Ask clarifying and probing questions
  3. Assume that others speak from a place of good intentions
  4. Be willing to challenge one another’s thinking and ideas
  5. Separate the impact a comment has upon you from the intent of the speaker
  6. Be discreet about any sensitive information other participants may share
  7. Provide a level of encouragement and support for one another
  8. Assume that everyone is here in good faith and has the interests of the institution at heart
  9. Be sensitive about time
  10. Do the work and take it seriously
  11. Keep focused on the goals and stay on task


Tuckman’s Stages Theory of Group Development:

  1. Forming (hope, optimism, excitement, nervousness, concern)
  2. Storming (low energy, going in circles, waning interest, overt conflicts)
  3. Norming (assess nature of conflict, listen well, depersonalize challenges, enforce group norms)
  4. Performing (see immediate relevance of what you are learning)
  5. Adjourning (meaningful closure, major event, lunch, awards)


Johnson and Johnson’s sequence of 7 development steps:

  1. Defining and structuring procedures
  2. Conforming to procedures and getting acquainted
  3. Recognizing mutuality and building trust
  4. Rebelling and differentiating
  5. Committing to and taking ownership for the goals, procedures, and other members
  6. Functioning maturely and productively
  7. Terminating


Components of high-functioning collaborative groups:

  • positive interdependence
  • face-to-face promotive interaction
  • individual accountability
  • interpersonal and small-group skills
  • group processing



Best Practices in Online Teaching Strategies

By Hanover Research Council – 2009


Online learning must involve a mixture of course design issues and pedagogical issues and must offer group activities, structure, stimuli, cajoling by tutors and peers, and a purpose or a reason to go online.


Principles of Effective Online Pedagogy – Bill Pelz – 2004

  1. Let students do (most of) the work – the more quality time students spend engaged in content, the more of that content they learn  (student led discussions – students find and discuss web resources – students help each other learn (peer assistance) – students grade their own homework assignments  - case study analysis)
  2. Interactivity is the heart and soul of effective asynchronous learning (interact with one another, professor, text, Internet, entire class, small groups, partners, etc. with problems to solve, case studies, lab activities, etc.)
  3. Strive for presence –

a. Social presence – personal characteristics into discussion

i.Affective – expression of emotion, feelings, mood

ii.Interactive – evidence of reading, attending, understanding, thinking about others’ responses

iii.Cohesive – responses build and sustain “belongingness”

b. Cognitive presence – by factual, conceptual, and theoretical knowledge in the discussion – value depends on source, clarity, accuracy, and comprehensiveness

c. Teaching presence – facilitation and direction of cognitive and social process by

i.Facilitating discussion

ii.Direct instruction


Checklist for Online Interactive Learning (COIL)

  1. Student behaviors meet criterion
  2. Faculty-Student Interactions
  3. Technology support
  4. Learning environment


Characteristics of online teaching (VOCAL)

Visible – personal and professional instructor info, timely feedback, regular updates and postings, mass and personal emails

Organized – self-assessment of successful online student, assignments and due dates up front, netiquette, different formats for online resources, use capabilities of technology

Compassionate – permission to communicate with professor privately, discussion forums and ice-breakers

Analytical – small and more frequent assignments, course feedback, clear expectations

Leader-by-example – instructor sets tone, online communication and feedback


Interactivity in online instruction

- Group problem-solving and collaborative tasks

- Problem-based learning

- Discussion

- Case-based strategies

- Simulations or role-play

- Student-generated content

- Coaching or mentoring

- Guided learning

- Exploratory or discovery

- Lecturing or teacher-directed activities

- Modeling of the solution process

- Socratic questioning


Effectiveness of online environment depends on:

  1. Planning and development – selection of wide range of educational technologies and course management tools – starts with development of learning objectives
  2. Teaching in action
  3. Student assessment and data evaluation


Park University guidelines for creation of learning objectives:

- Behavior – observable behavioral outcomes – clear, targeted verbs

- Student-centered – explain expectation for student behavior, performance, understanding

- Conditions – specific and target one aspect of understanding

- Standards – measurable and include criteria for student assessment


To promote interactivity:

  1. Online discussion forums
  2. Student collaboration on assignments


Constructivist thinking – knowledge is constructed from personal experience

Critical thinking

Higher-order thinking – thinking creatively and critically in a decision making or problem solving matter


Guidelines for online discussion:

  1. Pose a stimulating question
    1. Interest-getting and attention-getting questions
    2. Diagnosing and checking questions
    3. Recall of specific facts or information questions
    4. Managerial questions
    5. Structure and redirect learning questions
    6. Allow expression of affect questions
    7. Encourage higher level thought processes questions
  2. Brainstorm answers to the question
  3. Compare ideas
  4. Fuse to the curriculum


Best Practices for Online Learning – Pennsylvania State University World Campus

- Prepare your students for learning online

- Specify course goals, expectations, and policies

- Create a warm and inviting atmosphere to build a learning community

- Promote Active Learning

- Model effective online interaction

- Monitor student progress and encourage lagging students

- Assess students’ messages in online discussions

- Sustain students’ motivation and provide feedback and support

- Encourage students to regulate their own learning

- Understand the impact of multiculturalism

- Deal with conflicts promptly


Using active learning instructional strategies to create excitement and enhance learning – University of South Florida – Dr. Eison


Active learning instructional strategies include a wide range of activities that share the common element of involving students in DOING things AND thinking about the things they are doing:

- thinking critically or creatively

- speaking with a partner, in a small group, or with entire class

- expressing ideas through writing

- exploring personal attitudes and values

- giving and receiving feedback

- reflecting upon the learning process


Teton Lakota Indians: Tell me and I’ll listen – Show me and I’ll understand – Involve me and I’ll learn


Asian proverb: I hear, and I forget – I see, and I remember – I do, and I understand


Project Merlot

Epstein education


Interactive lectures: presentations (relatively brief segments of instructor talk) that provide students with brief opportunities for structured engagement (excellent opportunities for student thinking and responding)

- instructor talks with periodic pauses for structured activities

- as student concentration begins to wane, a short structured in-class activity is assigned

- instructor’s questions require responses

- students’ responses to an instructor’s questions are commonly made by using a clicker

- student-to-student talk is encouraged

- students often work with partners or in groups

- student comprehension during the lecture is assessed directly

- opportunities to correct misunderstandings are periodically provided within the lecture

- high rates of attendance often are reported


Strategies to transform traditional lectures into interactive ones:

  1. Pause Procedure: instructor pauses for about 2 minutes on 3 occasions in a 50-minute lecture to allow students to work in pairs to discuss and rework their notes
  2. Think-Pair-Share: provide reading assignment, lecture, video, then poses a single question allowing students to reflect (think), write down their answer, turn to a partner (pair) and share
  3. ConcepTests: test understanding every 15 minutes by posing a challenging conceptual question or problem posed in multiple choice format
  4. Personal Response Systems (Clickers): takes up less than 10% of class time but show measurable increases in learning
  5. Personal Response Cards: 4 colored cards with ABCD on them and students raise them in response to questions having 4 possible answers
  6. Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs): generally anonymous, ungraded, brief assessments of student understanding, completed in class. E.g. minute papers, Techno-CATs
  7. Questioning purposefully: frequent use including (a) instructor questions students, and (b) students question students. (NOTE: wait time should be 3-5 seconds)
  8. Employing classroom demonstrations: when used skillfully arouse student interest
  9. Assigning short in-class writings: can use 5 X 8 inch cards. (a) summary-writing microtheme, (b) thesis-support microtheme, (c) data-provided microtheme, and (d) quandary-posing microtheme
  10. Using brief get-acquainted icebreaker activities and/or subject matter warm-ups: to reduce students feelings of embarrassment in front of strangers
  11. Having brief “who was this person and why might we care?” student presentations: to allow them to reflect upon the source of information
  12.  Infusing humor into class sessions: joke of the day, cartoons, riddles, humorous mnemonic devices
  13. Using popular films and video-vignettes to stimulate critical/creative thinking
  14. Inviting guest speakers
  15. Connecting course content to current events: weekly “breaking news” items
  16. Transforming study guides into puzzles: Puzzlemaker and Edhelper and ArmoredPenguin 
  17. Employing “high-interest low-stakes” in-class contests
  18. Creating classroom versions of television game shows
  19. Creating haiku assignments: 3 lines – 5-7-5
  20. Having students prepare “Public Service Announcements”
  21. Integrating website use and/or creation into course assignments
  22. Integrating debated into course assignments
  23. Using case method teaching
  24. Having students do in-class roles plays
  25. Using cooperative learning strategies (1. Research and prepare a position, 2. Present and advocate their position, 3. Engage in an open discussion,  4. Reverse perspectives, and 5. Synthesize and integrate the best evidence and reasoning into a joint position)
  26. Exploring team-based learning course redesign
  27. Creating field trips (real, simulated, or virtual)
  28. Using Summative Assessment Strategies


Strategies to incorporate active learning into online teaching – University of South Florida


In active learning, less emphasis is placed on transmitting information (teacher-centered) and more on developing students’ skills (student-centered).


Components of good active learning activities:

  1. Definite beginning and ending
  2. Clear purpose or objective
  3. Complete and understandable directions
  4. Feedback mechanism
  5. Description of tool or technology used


Examples of good active learning activities:

  • Assessment (tests and quizzes that provide immediate feedback)
  • Writings (reflective journals, summaries, essays, critiques)
  • Demonstrations with questioning (video clips)
  • Games and simulations
  • Community building
  • Readings, case studies
  • Projects (group or individual)
  • Study/ support groups
  • Problem-solving
  • Role play
  • Discussions (virtual chat, bulletin board)
  • Experiential learning (internships/preceptorships/externships)
  • Visual-based instruction (streamed video/CDs)
  • Online presentations
  • Directed research


A model for active learning in the online classroom – University of Wisconsin-La Crosse


Include discussions, case studies, problem-solving exercises, and class-wide projects.


5-Step Model

  1. Clearly disseminated objectives for each unit
  2. Distinctive group projects based on learning objectives
  3. Dissemination of the projects and relation to objectives by group members
  4. Assessment of project by peers and instructor
  5. Required inclusion and discussion of group projects and objectives as part of exams


Learning is mostly a matter of reconstituting the already constituted world






Utilized ideas: ideas that are connected to the larger framework of meaning that forms our life


Inert ideas: ideas that are merely received into the mind without being utilized, or tested, or thrown into fresh combinations

Learning takes place by action of learner

Rote or passive

Learner is seeking to connect new knowledge to his/her existing body of ideas

Learner is picking up bits of information for a test or exam

Learner is agent, agent in motion, moving through, using, and shaping the object of learning

Passive is an oxymoron – learner cannot be passive and learn – learning cannot be done to you


Learner regards the object of learning as stationary, inert, a set piece to be observed from just one angle and not to be handled

Students are active movers in the design of their own learning

Students are afraid to disturb the dust on the inert and unconnected objects of their fleeting attention



Seeks to integrate information and seeks to integrate into her preexisting framework of thought

Sees information as discrete bits, separate and isolated atoms

Connect new learning with prior knowledge, question new ideas, and compare them with old ones, seek the main point

Find it difficult to fit ideas into an overall picture



Practical in that it relates to decisions and beliefs that make a difference to our lives

Sever objects of learning from their connections with world at large

Cognitive growth: lies not just in knowing more, but in the restructuring that occurs when new knowledge becomes connected with what is already known

Cognitive near-sightedness: the sign is the meaning, the first appearance is all there is

Integrate information into semantic memory (large, personal, coherent, meaningful framework)

Episodic memory (relies on discrete, concrete experiences)

Incremental theory

Entity theory

Signs are cues for analysis and interpretation – they are part, but not all, of what he seeks to understand

Student does not see past the sign to what the sign means and then sets meaning aside as being irrelevant to his purpose

Believe that effort can increase ability

Believe ability is fixed

More likely to form learning goals rather than performance goals

More likely to form performance goals rather than learning goals 

Learning goals – seek to get smarter

Performance goals – seek to look smart

Tend to seek feedback on consequences of actions

Very act of seeking out feedback would imply a negative evaluation



Mindful approach: 3 characteristics

  1. continuous creation of new categories
  2. openness to new information
  3. implicit awareness of more than one perspective


  1. entrapment in old categories
  2. automatic behavior that precludes attending to new signals
  3. action that operates from a single perspective

Characteristics are approaches to introducing variation and variety into the objects of thought, of triangulating reality by looking at it from different angles


A deep approach to learning, fully realized, makes us mindful in precisely this sense of seeing things from more than one angle, turning them over and taking in what is new about them, coming to see them in a new light and in new categories

A surface approach, is explicitly mindless in that, standing in one place, we take the surface revealed at a particular angle of light as all there is, and so we make the world two-dimensional, static, and dead



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