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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107 Responses for this Activity

  • Meaningful Nugget
    by Darby Anderson (@danderson)

    I was inspired by Patch Twenty-One:  Just Listen.  The article was longer than anticipated, but it was full of meaningful ‘learning’ nuggets.  The author is a teacher in the physical sciences, but the words of wisdom can be adaptable to any field.  I selected one section of particular interest to focus my post on – more… »

  • Thought Vectors and Nuggets
    by Jenn Harren (@j_harren)

    I was inspired by Patch Two: Adjusting Instruction During a Lesson (very relevant and since I’m teaching only online at the moment, sometimes more challenging than face to face). The Patchwork paragraph I took stated: “When you are planning out your learning activities, take a moment to think of some alternatives. What is the target more… »

  • Thought Vector Activity Patch 27- Promoting Disagreement- How to Debate and Not Die
    by Sheryl Third (@Sheryl)

    Patch 27- Promoting Disagreement- How to Debate and Not Die One of my favourite quotes is: “To disagree, one doesn’t have to be disagreeable.” Barry Goldwater So this nugget stood out for me:  “Promoting disagreement may seem like a strange topic because disagreement is often associated with rudeness or awkwardness in social settings. If this more… »

  • Nugget – Is Everyone an Instructional Designer?
    by Rob Harrison (@Rob H)

    Is Everyone an Instructional Designer by John Kruithof. I wouldn’t profess to be an instructional designer per se, however, a quote in John Kruithof’s discussion stood out to me, “Educational technology is a place that can often drive pedagogical change, and it’s strange how often it goes unacknowledged as an accomplice in converting people to more… »

  • The Case for Study Sheets
    by Valerie Watts (@vwatts)

    Patch #3:  Sheets Ain’t Cheats This patch resonated with me because I have been thinking about allowing students in my Statistics for Business course to use a study sheet for tests and exams.  The following excerpt from Katrina Van Osch-Saxon’s blog struck me, especially when I think about my business students:  “…making resources available to more… »

  • Kindness is Universal
    by Rachel Schultz (@Rachel Schultz)

    I’ve struggled with how to lead students though challenging conversations in the past. They seem coloured by the current climate to give textbook or ‘socially acceptable’ answers, and to tear down anyone who speaks alternatives, which leads to false dictomatic thinking or creation of mini tribes within the classroom. However, it is only through dialog more… »

  • Patch #39 – a nugget of reflection
    by jill jones (@teacherlyjill)

    “Once revised papers are submitted to the instructor for final grading purposes, most technical errors will be eliminated and the content is typically stronger. With mechanical and grammatical mistakes minimized, instructors can now concentrate more freely on the task of judging each paper’s content in the general absence of distracting technical errors.” **Professors of Writing: more… »

  • Thought Vectors and Nuggets
    by Brian Percheson (@bpercheson)

    I liked Patch 10: Roam If You Want To. Just like the “Learning How to Drive” activity, I believe that “Roam if You Want To” means to roam if you feel safe in your learning environment. I wouldn’t want to take risks by roaming in traffic because it’s safe.  I’d rather roam in a place more… »

  • Nugget: Patch Eleven: What we learned from Co-Teaching
    by Mamdouh (@Mamdouh Mina)

    This exercise was difficult, not because it is hard to do but rather to select one only, in my class, I vary my teaching style depending on the material I am covering and the level of engagement and I vary the resources from session to session, so I can relate to many of those Patches. more… »

  • Nugget: Patch Thirty-Three – Desire paths and other course design ideas for humans
    by Wesley Butler (@wbutler925)

    I read patch thirty-three of the patchbook, focusing on desire paths and other course design ideas for humans. One paragraph that resonated me pertained to the planning of a course. As noted by Maureen Glynn: “I might begin my course development work with an instructor by asking them to tell me about the learners they 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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