Instructional Activities

Activities for Student Engagement

We are working to update these activities to reflect the WSU switch to Canvas.  If you need implementation guidance or assistance tailoring an activity to fit your course, please visit Instructor Support.

To learn more about a particular activity for student engagement, select an activity title. 

  • Blogs (pdf)
    A digital journal that can be used to deliver content, foster discussion, or as an informal writing assignment or assessment.
  • Case Study (pdf)
    Students diagnose the problem in a case study and present an appropriate solution with rationale. 
  • Concept Mapping (pdf)
    A strategy for organizing and representing information. 
  • Defining Features Matrix (pdf)
    An approach to note-taking that has been shown to be more effective than traditional approaches. 
  • Drawing for Understanding (pdf)
    Students illustrate an abstract concept or idea using drawings, graphs, diagrams, flowcharts, or mind maps. 
  • Jigsaw (pdf)
    A cooperative learning strategy that breaks classes into groups and breaks assignments into segments. 
  • Picture Prompt (pdf)
    A method of dual coding that asks students to explain an image or set of images.
  • Pro and Con Grid (pdf)
    Allows students to consider the advantages and disadvantages of an identified issue, procedure, action, or decision.
  • Ranking Alternatives (pdf)
    Students rank multiple responses according to provided criteria which allows them to practice identifying the problem and the most appropriate solution given the context.
  • Student-Generated Test Questions (pdf)
    Asks students to create likely exam questions on specific content topics along with ideal answers.
  • Think-Pair-Share (pdf)
    This discussion technique gives students the opportunity to respond to questions in written form before engaging in meaningful conversation. 
  • Twenty Questions (pdf)
    Students ask each other questions that have potential responses of yes/no about a topic to identify the concept. 
  • What’s the Principle? (pdf)
    A problem and inquiry-based active learning approach where students identify the principle/approach that is underlying a given problem or scenario.

Considerations When Choosing an Activity

  • What preparation is expected of students?
  • How will you evaluate students’ work?
  • What do you hope students accomplish by participating in this activity?