Find and make meaningful a “nugget.”

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 collection of faculty authored overviews of specific pedagogical skills.
  2. Select one article that resonates with you.
  3. 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.)
  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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130 Responses for this Activity

    by Alfred Lam (@alam)

    “Going through the motions, I’m a captain of a rowboat, in the ocean, trusting a compass that endlessly spins.” – Tom Evans This sentence really caught my eye when reading his experience regarding mental health and self care.  I like metaphors a lot and feel like many of us, including myself are just going through more… »

  • Write Your Life – Scan Your Environment
    by Erin Gilbart (@egilbart)

    I chose patch 25 – Write Your Life by Joseph A. Mayo and the journaling nugget itself is what appealed to me. This patch resonated for me in terms of thinking about strategies to engage students and simultaneously improve their writing skills in my course. One of the integral concepts is the understanding and use more… »

  • Vector Assignment
    by Megan Anderson (@manderson)

    I chose Patch 11, which was about co-teaching. I chose this, because of the three semesters I teach 2 are co-teaching, and it is quite different than solo teaching. The nugget that stood out to me really emphasized the importance of the feelings others, even more so than with solo teaching. You have to communicate more… »

  • Thought Vectors & Nuggets
    by Nicole Drake (@ndrake)

    I used an excerpt from Patch 25 – Write Your Life to create the attached nugget. The article focused on the value of life-based writing as a student engagement tool for connecting classroom learning to real-world events.

  • Patch 21: Just Listen
    by Emily Lejeune (@lejeunee)

    “Listening to students means not only recognizing when they do or don’t understand, but recognizing when an explanation or a method isn’t working and you might just need to start over, or recognizing when a more fundamental idea isn’t understood and you need to backtrack. If it’s necessary, do it. Blow up your plans and more… »

  • Nugget
    by Caitlin Cull (@ccull)


  • Instructional Design
    by Marc Anderson (@Marc Anderson)

    “My role has been traditionally to help people with the how of things; how to set up a gradebook in the LMS, how to use classroom response tools to do things in the classroom – and early on I realized that lots of people really were looking for how-to, but never thought much about the more… »

  • Patch 32 Nugget
    by Gitanjali Shanbhag (@gshanbhag)

    Taken From Patch 32: Early on I realized that lots of people really were looking for how-to, but never thought much about the why they were doing things. Sometimes the answer to why was simply, “the department asked me to go online” – but the people who did think about the why ended up much more… »

  • Thought Vectors and Nuggets
    by Wendy Tseng (

    One line that resonated with me was “Start with a good rapport.” I think this is extremely important when it comes to teaching and learning. It demonstrates the invitational theory, where we invite the learner into the space of learning. A good rapport will assist in the creation of a safe and open learning environment more… »

  • Thoughts Vectors and Nuggets
    by John Colling (@johncolling)

    We can learn from a textbook but are limited to the author’s knowledge and experience in the topic.  Many textbooks are written by academics. Students learn better when they can take the concept being taught, and have the instructor share examples of the concept by their own real-world personal experience.  If the student also had 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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