Find and make meaningful a “nugget.”

Review The Faculty Patchbook, a collection of faculty authored overviews of specific pedagogical skills. Then, select one article that resonates with you. Select a passage from the article 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.

How do you make something as meaningful as possible? Well, use your imagination. You’ll probably start by copying and pasting the nugget. Or if you’re feeling very multimedia inclined, read your nugget aloud and make an audio file. From there, consider hyperlinks, illustrations, video clips, animated gifs, screenshots, whatever. Make the experience as rich and interesting as you can.

Obviously, one of the main goals of this assignment is to get you to read carefully and respond to them 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.


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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53 Responses for this Activity

  • Colleague Swap – Nuggets
    by KristineW (@KristineW)

    I chose the Colleague Swap article which discusses the relative importance of sustained communication skills and practice through a program for students, and outlines the use-value of a peer review activity as part of courses.  I narrowed in on this passage:  “Allowing students to critique each other’s papers also creates a more cooperative learning environment more… »

  • Patch Eight
    by Neil McCuaig (@n.mccuaig)

    Mapping the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals to Learning Outcomes. Subsection 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities by Jenni Hayman, Ecampus Ontario

  • (UN) PREPARED TikTok
    by Stephanie Park (@stpark)

    The article that resonated strongly with me was  PATCH TWENTY-THREE: (UN) PREPARED by Sherri Spelic. It was written two and a half years before COVID-19 ever came on the scene to turn our world and lives upside down. However, after I read it, I had to double-check the date it was written because it felt more… »

  • Patch two: adjusting instruction during a lesson
    by Sheeba (@svilakkathusaidu)

    I chose the Patch two: adjusting instruction during a lesson. I experienced it is very important for an effective delivery of a session. The project management  graduate certificate course is the application of tools and techniques to a real time project.  I took the nugget as Jodies example; when student’s approach on an assignment or more… »

  • Patch Thirty – Engaging Students with Wikipedia
    by Mona Brennan-Coles (@MonaBC)

    I chose Patch Thirty – Engaging Students with Wikipedia because I recommend Wikipedia(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) to my students through specific articles and as a first step in learning about something new. I contribute to Wikipedia annually because I benefit from Wikipedia both professionally and personally. There were two nuggets for me.  I know we were asked for more… »

  • Thought Vectors Activity-Patch Seven
    by Anahita Khazaei (@Ana)

    I completed this activity based on the following excerpts from Patch Seven: Bigfoot and Blind Spots-Respecting Students. “Students always know teachers have power. Teachers can forget this. Compassion and civility (R-E-S-P-E-C-T) are not eclipsed by asymmetrical power relations, but instructors represent institutional policies and expectations. Respect means acknowledging the power imbalance in a classroom and using authority more… »

  • Thought Vectors Activity-Patch Seven
    by Anahita Khazaei (@Ana)

    I completed this activity based on the following excerpts from Patch Seven: Bigfoot and Blind Spots-Respecting Students. “Students always know teachers have power. Teachers can forget this. Compassion and civility (R-E-S-P-E-C-T) are not eclipsed by asymmetrical power relations, but instructors represent institutional policies and expectations. Respect means acknowledging the power imbalance in a classroom and using authority more… »

  • Testing to Learn
    by Bruce Stead (@B Stead)

    I attended a training session about how to set up quizzes for a course and in the process the instructor said that he would set the quizzes so that the students could do two attempts and be graded on the best attempt. When asked why he felt two attempts were better, he identified that if more… »

  • Thought Vectors Activity – Vunerability and Self Care
    by Anne Pearson (@agpearson)

    PATCH THIRTY EIGHT – VULNERABILITY AND SELF CARE by Tom Evans I chose this patch coincidentally on Bell Let’s Talk Day it is a great reminder of the struggles we all face along with our colleagues and students.  Teaching and learning online is a great option during these challenging times but it certainly can be very more… »

  • Nugget – Promoting Disagreement
    by Gary Danner (@gdanner)

    The nugget I chose was from Patch 27 – Promoting Disagreement Promoting disagreement may seem like a strange topic because disagreement is often associated with rudeness or awkwardness in social settings. If this was your first thought, you’d be absolutely right. Socially, it’s not always the best idea to disagree. Disagreeing is a good thing! more… »

    1 Resource for this Activity

    • 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
    This work by Ontario Extend is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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