Assessing Mini-Lessons in Action

If you use one of the mini-lessons in your classroom, we would strongly encourage you to assess how well it worked given your reasons for including it in your instruction. To do so, just follow the directions on this form. If you just have a small piece of feedback on one of the mini-lessons, you may also leave a comment for the mini-lesson author.

The goals for the MARGINS Mini-Lesson Observation protocol is to:

  • Gather structured, consistent feedback for the lesson authors based on classroom use. This input focuses both on the mini-lesson itself and on the adequacy of the instructions for use by other educators.
  • Guide reviewers of these lessons to reflect on research based educational practice as a framework for their comments
  • Collect information on the data and observations that the reviewer used to underpin their review
  • Determine which mini-lessons are ready to be made widely available on the website

The design is based on best practices in classroom observation protocols in an abbreviated form. This form allows the instructor teaching to reflect on their own experience. Ultimately, the fundamental premise underpinning this form is that mini-lessons are successful if students achieve the stated goals. However, the form also allows room to collect unforeseen positive learning outcomes attributed to the lessons.

The first step in using the protocol is to download the word version of the form (Microsoft Word 72kB Nov17 08). Be sure to read over it before you run the activity in class so that you know the kinds of things you are looking for while your students are working on the activity so that you can take notes on your printout. Once you have it filled out with your observations, you can use the form below to upload your finished observations.

All uploaded files are public unless you are in a private workspace

Title: A descriptive, human readable title.

e.g. 'Student Handout for Sauerkraut Assignment'

Select the file: Make sure it has an appropriate suffix (e.g. .doc) or specify the type in the Optional Fields below

Description: A very brief description of the file.

File Type:

The system will attempt to determine the correct file type based on the name of the file you've selected. Choosing the correct file type here will override that.

File Name:

e.g. 'student_handout'
This will be the name of the downloaded file. By default the system will generate this based on the title you specified and the type of file. If you specify a name here it will over-ride the automatically generated name. This is generally only useful when uploading file of a type not recognized by the system (not in the list of file types above). In that situation choose File Type: Unknown Binary and include the appropriate suffix in the file name here. e.g. myfile.m3z Avoid spaces or special characters in the file names.


I am the author (copyright holder) of the contents of this file and people are allowed to reuse it for non-commercial purposes as long as they give me attribution as described by this creative commons license.
Who is the original creator/copyright holder of the information in this file?


A short description of where the material came from. Include names and institutions of authors and contributors as well as acknowledgment of any work from which this was derived.

Reuse License

The creator/copyright holder must have agreed to allow distribution of this file through this site.
If you are the creator we strongly encourage you to select the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike option.

If none of the above licenses apply describe the conditions under which this material appears on this site as well as any information about reuse beyond this site.

Distributing information on the web generally requires the permission of the copyright holder--usually the original creator. Providing the information we request here will help visitors to this site understand the ways in which they may (legally) use what they find.

If you created this file (and haven't signed away your copyright) then we'd encourage you to select the CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike option. You'll retain the copyright to your file and can do as you please with it in the future. Through this choice you are also explicitly allowing others to reuse that file as long as they give you attribution, and don't use it for commercial purposes.

If the file (or content within it) was created by others you'll need their permission. If it predates 1923 or was created by a U.S federal employee (as part of their job) it is likely in the public domain (and we can all do as we choose with it). The original author may also have explicitly stated how it may be reused (e.g. through a creative commons license). You can describe the licensing/reuse situation in the box above.

Without permission you should not upload the file. There are several options in this case:

  • You can contact the original author to get permission.
  • You can provide a link to (or a description of how to get) the original material rather than uploading it here.
  • You can find a substitute that isn't encumbered by copyright.
  • You can create a substitute yourself. Remember, ideas can't be copyrighted, only particular expressions of those ideas. Of course you'll want to give credit the original author.

The Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center has more good information about copyright as it applies to academic settings.

Otherwise, please use these fields to tell us your experience in using the mini-lesson in class.

Why and How did you use the activity?

How did you use this activity in your teaching? As: (check all that apply)

Why did you use this activity in your class? (check all that apply)

Did students meet your learning goals?What types of assessment did you use to evaluate your students? (check all that apply)

How do you know that students met your goal? (check all that apply)

How effective was the activity in your classroom?

Education research identifies several aspects of activities that should enhance student learning. Indicate to what extent these aspects are true for using this activity:

What do faculty need to successfully use this activity?

What additional information would you have liked? (check all that apply)