Today I held two workshops based on the book Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, & Doing by Bonk and Zhang (2008). This is a great resource on many levels, but I chose it because of the wide variety of activity ideas that are useful to good teachers everywhere – online and face-to-face!

Instructors, how many times do we repeat the same projects in our classes over and over again? Lecture from the same slides? Assign the same homework? Do you ever want to branch out and try something just a bit different, but don’t know where to start? We’ve all been there, and I do not want to diminish the value of tried and true teaching materials – some of those are golden! Yet, we often do what we’ve always done because 1) we don’t have time to develop new material and 2) we are afraid of the risks involved in implementing new teaching methods.

To help, I’ve decided to share some of the suggested activities from today’s workshops over the next few weeks on this blog. Hopefully, these ideas will spark some fresh creative interest in your classes as you prepare for the upcoming school year. The best part is that you don’t have to start from scratch. There are dozens of activities already available that you may just need to discover and adopt. The activities in Empowering Online Learning are organized based on a unique combination of brain research and … wait for it… Star Wars!

Yes, that’s right, the model organizes activities according to four distinct phases known as the R2D2 model: reading, reflecting, displaying, and doing. Here’s the visual to get you thinking.

Shared by permission. Bonk, C. J., & Zhang, K. (2008). Empowering Online Learning: 100+ Activities for Reading, Reflecting, Displaying, and Doing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

For more about this book, including a free list of all of the text’s web resources and links, visit the TravelinEdMan blog. But there’s more to follow in July. Hope you’ll check back!

Feedback & Comments

We can all learn from each other. What are some of your favorite class activities to engage students and deepen their learning journey? Post a comment to share your valuable insights!