Creating an Activity

Activities can be created in an examples module (for module authors) or submitted by faculty via the Activity Submission Form.

Ideally, each teaching method should have 10 activities or examples that give a range of ideas for using the method for the given discipline. Use the example template within the CMS mini-collection to ensure that the activities and examples can be found by users through the search engine. Each field within the template should be complete even if the content is redundant with associated Word and PDF files. The user should be able, at a glance, to get the idea of the activity and how easily it will be for them to adapt to their own class.

The example should contain all materials needed to execute the activity (e.g. handouts - but not wet chemicals). In addition, all the instruction the faculty member needs to execute the activity well should either be provided or referenced. So for example, if the activity includes a think pair share, link to information on how to do a think pair share well. In some examples, you may need to include information on how to lead the discussion. If the example requires knowing something special that is specific to the example to execute it with success, include it as part of the example pages, e.g. typical errors, places discussion often goes astray, and so on.

Activity Sheets

Activity sheets are designed to:
  1. Provide all of the information a faculty member needs to successfully implement an activity
  2. Enable faculty at a glance to determine if they want to learn more about this example
Activity sheets are one page summaries of teaching activities in a standardized format. Teaching activities in this context includes everything from a 5 minute in-class exercise to an extended student project. The goal of the activity sheet is to concisely communicate to other faculty what the key elements of the activity are so that they can adapt the activity for their own environment; or perhaps use it as a source of inspiration and good ideas.

Activity sheets are 'embedded' within a module that describes, in general terms, the what, why and how of a particular teaching method. The activities serve to illustrate, in a concrete way, how the particular method might play out in the classroom (or lab, or...). So the activity sheet should describe the activity from the perspective of the relevant method.

In some cases an activity sheet may contain all the materials necessary to conduct the activity; students handouts, instructors notes and the like can be embedded in the page as downloadable files. In some cases the activity sheet may draw heavily on materials available elsewhere with links or bibliographic references provided as appropriate. In some cases an activity sheet may describe an activity that has been documented elsewhere: either on the web, or in print. In all cases faculty will benefit from the standardized format which allows them to efficiently skim a large number of examples to find those most relevant to their needs. And in the later cases where an activity sheet is based largely or in part on pre-existing materials the creation of the activity sheet creates a bridge between the existing material and the teaching method information.

Authors retain copyright over the materials they submit. However, materials posted on the SERC site are sharable under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike license that allows others to reuse your materials for non-commercial purposes as long as they give attribution and share any derivative work similarly. Read more about copyright.

Read about activity design.