Last week, I introduced the R2D2 model by Curt Bonk and Ke Zhang which categorizes over 100 online activities in four basic sections: reading, reflecting, displaying, and doing. Today, I’d like to share just a few of the “displaying” activity ideas with you. These are visually stimulating activities that can be used for teaching content, but they can also be the creative work students provide to display their knowledge and skills. Have you tried any of these activities in your classes? Leave a comment below and share your favorite tips and sites!

Online Timeline Explorations and Safaris


visually display data/information to help learners remember key factual knowledge, discover underlying themes & patterns, and organize information in the context of time


static timelines organize data; interactive timelines allow visits to points of interest or expand on content within certain periods

Added benefits:

engages learners, promotes greater self-directed learning and logical thinking, can include creative expression or design skills

Here are just a few examples of existing timelines students can learn from:

Famous Firsts in American Women’s History
American Song: A Cultural and Historical Chronology
Literary Periods & History Timeline
The Origins of Sociology
Story of the Hershey’s Company

Suggested tools for student created timelines:

Meograph – create & share 4D stories in education, journalism, sports, tourism, and more
Dipity – free digital timeline website that allows you to create, share, embed and collaborate
myHistro – combines maps and timelines; iPad app available
XTimeline – create and share timelines with pictures and videos

Virtual Tours & Virtual Field Trips


learners explore a location they can’t visit, or are about to visit to familiarize them in advance of their trip (perhaps missions prep…COR trips…ancient historical sites)

Advice & Ideas:

engage students in areas such as anthropology, urban planning, social outreach, archeology, geology, and geography; explore free resources before inventing your own tours; couple these virtual tours & trips with other activities, such as debates, role plays, or reflections

Example: Rome Reborn


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