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Active Learning Academy (ALA) Community of Practice: Classroom Techniques

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.

FlipGrid Instructions



Instructions for Instructors

Log in on the Flipgrid Educator site—You’ll need an account to continue.  Next, click the +New Grid ‘blue’ button. Then, give it a Grid Name. Scroll down and write in a Grid Purpose. Scroll down some more and decide your Grid Security and Privacy options. Scroll down some more and click any Grid Features that you might want. Scroll down some more [I really hate scrolling] and Customize your Grid with a banner. Now you are ready to click the ‘blue’ Create Grid button. A pop-up screen then shows up asking if you want to create a topic—I just say ‘no’, close it and move on. Your new Grid should have a ‘green’ Active button next to it along with a ‘blue’ Share button. Clicking the Share button will bring you to another options page—I use the URL choice. Now, you can embed the URL code into a Canvas page.


Instructions for Students

Click on the URL and the Flipgrid will open. Click the ‘Add Ideas’ lightning bolt icon in the circle and follow the directions below:

  1. Click the plus sign
  2. Click the camera icon
  3. Record
  4. Click the pause to finish
  5. Click the green arrow pointing right
  6. Let a review of your video play --- trash it for a redo
  7. When your satisfied with the video, click the green arrow again to move on
  8. Click the camera icon again to get a still image of yourself
  9. Add a sticker, or not
  10. Click the next [green arrow again] and that should do it.
  11. Wait for your video to upload—may take a few seconds or a minute or so


Research Assignment



Habit:  Gathering Data Through all the Senses

            Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision


Application: All disciplines when introducing research assignments


This lesson introduces the first step in a research process and criteria used to refine a topic into an appropriate research question. To accomplish this, the lesson will:

  • Define a research question and the difference between a topic and a research question
  • Introduce the 5W criteria for refining an investigation
  • Discuss how questions are too broad, too narrow, or just right within a given context/investigation


Lesson Introduction Slides


FOLLOW-UP:  Schedule a session with a reference librarian for an introduction to resources to support their research questions.

Humor in the Workplace Discussion

Playing Nice in the Sandbox