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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64 Responses for this Activity

  • Patch 35: Surprise!
    by Kate MacIsaac (@kmacisaac)

    I read through patch thirty-five and part that resonated with me was: “But no matter how many angles you try to anticipate, something will surprise you when you implement it.” As a read though the example in the article, I thought “Yup, been there”, when a lesson or activity doesn’t resonate with a group. So more… »

  • It’s OK to fail: Sharing stories to build resiliency
    by Pamela LeBrun (@PamLeBrun)

    I chose Patch nine that deals with designing assessments that promote learning. The topic really appeals to me because when teaching computer courses, I want to build the best kinds of assessments that challenge learners and that encourage them to want to learn more. One “nugget” that stuck with me is the thoughts on failure more… »

  • Promoting metacognition in your students – Activity
    by Isaac Kimunio (@Dr. Isaac Kimunio)

    Explain five strategies that you can use to promote metacognition in learning   Teach students how their brains are wired for growth. Give students practice recognizing what they don’t understand. Provide opportunities to reflect on coursework. Have students keep learning journals. Use a “wrapper” to increase students’ monitoring skills.

  • The Implications of Shifting Assessment Design
    by Marlee Lunshof (@marleelunshof)

    Patch Nine: shifting the design of assessments sends a powerful article about student-directed learning… As someone who has been in school for twenty years, I know I speak for more than myself when I say that I do not remember or value the content of my classes as much as I do the learning moments more… »

  • Pertnear: Such a Great Idea!
    by Susanmarie Harrington (@susanmarieh)

    Pertnear–or, you’re pretty near!–is a valuable concept.  It celebrates process, it celebrates progress, and it celebrates the discerning eye to see what makes work good or appropriate.  What are the criteria for success?  You have to know that in order to judge the degree of pertnear.

  • Thought Vectors
    by Michelle Laurence (@Michelle Laurence)

    Patch 16: Lost and found course designs that map it out spoke to me. I worry about details of a plan, but forget about alternate roots (which is ironic because I preach that to my students all the time). I was curious to read about how others make their way through course design process. I more… »

  • Promoting Disagreement
    by Tricia Bonner (@Tbone)

    See the attached file.

  • What Are We Assessing?
    by jessica srivastava (@Jessica)

    There were a couple of “Patches” that grabbed my attention, but I decided to comment on Patch Nine: Shifting Your Design of Assessment. This has long been of interest to me as I have, as suggested in the patch, provided many opportunities for students to submit work for review prior to them submitting a final version. Some would say this creates more work but actually, because I have seen more… »

  • Creating Meaningful Faculty Development
    by Alissa Bigelow (@alissabigelow)

    I chose Patch 36 – Creating Meaningful Faculty Development by Mariam Ahmed. The piece that resonated with me was her first point: “Ask faculty which topics they want to learn more about – Instructors will be more invested in learning about topics that matter to them. At the end of each of our workshops, we more… »

  • Thought vectors activity
    by Lori Hallahan (@lhallahan)

    The article I selected was May 10, 2017 Patch Five: In sync-thoughts on sync video conversations. I pulled out the nugget related to the awkward silences that occur online. I find it especially easy to dwell on these silences and want to fill this air with words when really it is about modelling that these 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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