Month: June 2017

Criteria for forming Team-based Learning teams on class #1

I use team-based learning in all my courses. After I had a year with one or two teams that lagged behind the others. Team-based learning expert, Jim Sibley, suggested the following criteria to form teams. These team-forming criteria worked well

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Slack line as a metaphor for community outreach

I have often thought about the precarious and tentative first attempts we need to take to build new community contacts. Indeed, the journey toward building a new community is like learning to walk on a slack line; we fall off — a

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Genius-inspired questions

There is a very important practice that great detectives, Pulitzer Prize winners, and creative geniuses have in common — a practice of asking paradigm-busting questions. The following Genius-inspired Questioning process was inspired by three books (see references below). I hope that

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Expressing gratitude to our Aboriginal Nations

At the start of every class, one student could opt to do a bonus point activity and recite our collective expression of gratitude to our local Aboriginal nation for sharing their land so we could work, play, and live on

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Reading sprees: many readers lighten the load

Here is a PDF version of the presentation I gave at Vancouver island University about “reading sprees” — dividing up a text and assigning different parts to different teams to teach back. In this example I discuss the work we

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How to study like a rock star

Law enforcement studies (LESD) students –as a group — are usually NOT keen to read. Indeed, finding ways for LESD to share the reading duties has been a major focus for me in the classroom. I have been developing “reading

Using graphic narration to deepen students’ analyses.

I will describe the use of graphic narration to deepen students understanding of the Truth and Reconciliation 2015 report with this quote from one of my students. A PDF of the completed 3-cohort graphic narration follows the quote. The last thing I

Students’ foodie videos reveal cultural roots

“Spice of Life” video instructions.  To teach peers about students’ and cultural background, they choose one spice (or herb, vegetable, or fruit) and create a 1-minute “foodie” video showing they — or a family member — preparing a dish with their chosen ingredient. But

“Letter to Future Student” — end of term assignment

At the start of my teaching career I noticed that each term I would have to start at zero with my student and build — brick-by-brick — a respectful and nourishing culture-of-learning. By the time the term ended, the students

Learning about diversity can be a struggle

I have learned over the years that some of my most successful teaching moments come after a full term of kind, strong, consistent hard work. Here is an in-depth reflection from a student who struggled in class right up until


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