Find and make meaningful a “nugget.”

The Open Faculty Patchbook is a collection of lived experiences, “AHA!” moments & lots of helpful nuggets about teaching and learning. It’s been crafted like an old fashioned community quilt (each person contributes a square to make a beautiful large quilt), but has been given a 21st century makeover and is a compilation of insightful stories from postsecondary educators. One of the main goals of this activity is to get you to read carefully and respond imaginatively. Your work with “nuggets” should be both fun and in earnest. It should demonstrate your own deep engagement and stimulate deep engagement for your reader as well.


To do:

  1. Review The Faculty Patchbook, a robust collection of faculty authored overviews of specific pedagogical skills. Each entry is referred to as a “patch.”
  2. Select one patch that resonates with you.
  3. Select a passage from the patch that grabs you in some way and prepare to make that passage as meaningful as possible.
    (It could be a passage that puzzles you, or intrigues you, or resonates strongly with you. It could be a passage you agree with, or one you disagree with. The idea here is that the passage evokes some kind of response in you, one that makes you want to work with the passage to make it just as meaningful as possible. A good length for your nugget is about a paragraph or so. Too much, and it becomes unwieldy. Too little, and you don’t have enough to work with.)
  4. How do you make something as meaningful as possible? Well, use your imagination! You’ll probably start by copying and pasting the nugget into a doc. Or if you’re feeling very multimedia inclined, record yourself reading the nugget aloud and share your response as an audio file. From there, consider hyperlinks, illustrations, video clips, animated gifs, screenshots, whatever. Make the experience as rich and interesting as you can. 
  5. After you make your submission, save the web address to your response (found in the green confirmation box) so you can use it later for your badge submission form.

This activity is part of the Metacognition section of the Teacher for Learning Module. It was borrowed from the course syllabus for Thought Vectors in Concept Space, designed by Dr. Gardner Campbell for an undergraduate research and writing course at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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204 Responses for this Activity

  • ChatGPT and Me – Balancing Books and Bots
    by Nathan Abourbih (@nathan.abourbih)

    As a faculty member who teaches business analysis and software development, I found myself reflecting on the experiences of Bettina Brockerhoff-Macdonald, PhD, as discussed in Patch Twenty-Eight – Going Back to Basics. In this patch, she describes the challenges of students’ heavy reliance on online resources, such as translation websites, for their assignments. The scenario more… »

  • Extend Activity #6 – Thoughts and Vectors
    by Tam Visser (@t_visser2)

    PATCH TWELVE: THE “PERTNEAR” BY TOM MIKEL ( “Where I come from, a ‘pertnear’ is what some with clearer diction may call a pretty near.  In other words, you almost got it, but not quite… When I think back I realize it’s been the pertnears that taught me the most. Failing is often not the more… »

  • Activity #6: Thought Vectors and Nuggets
    by Brigitte Desjardins (@bdesjardins)

    Patch four: Check, Check 1-2, Checking in with Students by Mary Overholt How many times have you, as a teacher, stood at the front of the classroom and asked: “any questions?” And how many of those times have you been met with blank stares, and silence? Have you, like me, resorted to a “Ferris Bueller” more… »

  • Embracing the unexpected
    by Charlotte Delouche (@cdelouche)

    I found a particular resonance with this paragraph, from the patch twenty-three, (un)expected: “So I plan and envision. I record and document. Confer and rehash. I also improvise on the spot. Change my mind in the moment. I decide to run the risk of failing miserably, succeeding wildly or both. I watch what happens. I more… »

  • Patch 21 – Just Listen
    by Daun Costa (@dacosta)

    The patch, Just Listen, immediately brought to mind my last course and a group of learners. This passage “The goal is not for the student to mimic your explanation; the goal is for the student to arrive at their accurate explanation.” is similar to other adages I have read and resonated with me the most. more… »

  • Thought Vectors and Nuggets
    by Luyi Liang (@LLIANG)

    Choice: PATCH THIRTY TWO – IS EVERYONE AN INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER? Nuggets: This patch reminds me of my experience as an instructional designer (and a content writer). I started with researching and writing lessons for various grades, where I also needed to design my lessons, choose images to use, write video scripts, and design the layout more… »

  • Patch 33
    by Lisa Macdonald (@Lisa)

    Patch 33 Reflecting on the idea of sustaining a sense of “welcome” in online courses and embracing “hospitality as pedagogy” resonates with my approach to teaching and learning. It emphasizes the importance of creating a positive and inclusive learning environment that goes beyond the initial welcome message. Here are my thoughts on this concept: Reflecting more… »

  • Extend Activity #6 – Thought Vectors and Nuggets
    by Cory M (@C)

    Patch Two: Adjusting instruction during a lesson The passages that resonate with me and have often happened are: Getting through planned activities too quickly as the students may already have some understanding of the topic and also having some students fly through everything while others are getting stuck. I have often found myself in the more… »

    by Johnryl Chu (@Chrono)

    PATCH TWO: ADJUSTING INSTRUCTION DURING A LESSON Passage: When you are planning out your learning activities, take a moment to think of some alternatives. What is the target task? Is there a ‘pre-requisite’ to that task? What is an easier version of that task? What is a harder version of that task? What is the more… »

    by Mehrdad Kashefi (@Mehrdad Kashefi)

    PATCH SEVENTEEN: WE HAVE TO GO DEEPER I began teaching 20 years ago. After more than a decade, I was first offered the opportunity to teach the same subject that I had studied more than a decade before. I did my best to teach in the way that I was taught. I tried to remember more… »

    2 Resources for this Activity

    • Find your Ikigai
      shared by Lisa Macdonald (@Lisa)

      Nugget: “Ikigai is the sweet spot where your passion meets your mission, your vocation, and your profession. It’s the place where you find joy, fulfillment, and a deep sense of purpose. Discovering your Ikigai is like uncovering the treasure map to a life of meaning and contentment.”

    • What’s a Nugget? (Thought Vectors in Concept Space Syllabus)
      shared by Ontario Extend (@ontario-extend)

      See how this open networked course used the idea of a “nugget” as a strategy for concept understanding, and how it was used in this undergraduate research course at Virginia Commonwealth University

    Creative Commons License
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