Teaching & Learning Tips

A collection of tips and tools designed to aid in transitioning instruction online.

Hands-On Activities

Jun 02, 2020

Students in blended and online environments often struggle to stay connected to course content and to each other. Adding a variety of hands-on activities can increase these connections by fostering collaboration and encouraging students to explore content more deeply. Engaging activities also build important skills in note-taking, idea-sharing, problem-solving, and peer instruction.

Not sure which activities to choose? Try breaking down the class period into segments such as lecturing, discussing, applying, or creating. The activities below can be adapted for online or in-person use. Some are more suited to independent exploration, others are ideal for group participation.

Look for these and other ideas in this card set of Hands-on Activities for Increasing Engagement.

  • Lecture Enhancers
    K*W*L, One-Minute Paper, Turn to Partner, Matrices, Grab Bag, Informal Quiz
  • Content Organizers
    Timeline, Concept Map, Event Chain, Snapshots, Fishbone Map, Hierarchies
  • Discussion Frameworks
    Think-Pair-Share, Circle Voices, Think Aloud, Hear the Subject, Send a Problem, Survey
  • Rotation Stations
    Jigsaw, Moveable Elements, Newsprint Dialogue, Stations, Affinity Grouping, Boardwork
  • Peer Instruction
    Divide & Conquer, Assigned Leader, Peer Lesson, Chalk Talk, Backchannel, Critical Friend

Looking for more ways to increase synchronous and asynchronous online collaboration? Check out this table of Digital Interactive Tools to Support Deep Learning arranged by category to support your learning goals.