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Active Learning Academy (ALA) Community of Practice: Norming

The ALA guide is designed for faculty as a repository of active learning strategies, assignments, videos and link, as well as information re Reading Apprenticeship, Habits of Mind and threshold concepts.

Why Norm?

Norming is a vital part of the Reading Apprenticeship and active learning approach, and is an important opportunity for instructors to establish communication, accountability and support.  This exercise sets the scene for social and personal inquiry ncessary to focused learning and metacognition.  They can be basic agreements about when, where, and for what purpose a class will meet, or more in-depth, focusing on HOW we will meet.

A norming session may include: 

  • Affirming the Team purpose
  • Individual think-write warm up
  • Charting response
  • Revisiting norms at any time.

Some examples we have seen repeatedly include key terms like: big talkers-small talkers and to listen and not interrupt when another is talking.  Recording these norms and sharing them broadly, either on a large print format, or on a discussion post or sharable document, returning students these agreed norms provides cohesion.