Nov 03

Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology. Red River College of Applied Arts, Science and Technology.

Applied. It's why I wanted to teach at RRC. And, it's why today's topic is so important. The third A of a solid lesson is Apply. Whether through activities or assessments, we must be creating opportunities for students to apply what they are learning.

And happily, I see it everywhere:

  • Civil Engineering Technology students surveying the land
  • Professional Photography students taking pictures
  • Early Childhood Education students hosting craft and play experiences for kids at the recent Welcome Party for Immigrant and International Students
  • Culinary and Hospitality Arts students serving guests at Jane's Restaurant
  • Nursing students checking blood pressure
  • And on, and on

Aubrey Doerksen.jpgIn the classroom, it might look like how Aubrey Doerksen, Cabinetry Instructor, designed an applied activity to help students identify fasteners. After first teaching about fasteners, she put students in groups of two. One partner had to reach into a bin and chose a fastener. Without showing it to their partner they had to describe it by any means possible: appearance, characteristics or use. Then the other partner had to go to the front of the class and try to retrieve the same fastener. In the second stage, it got a bit more competitive. Aubrey divided the class into two teams. After she described a key detail, each team had to send a representative from their team (a different person each round), in a race to the front of the class to find the fastener. She even made a classroom trophy that the winning team signed.

I have had success with a roaming workshop technique. Last week in Marketing Research we first learned about questionnaires – how to create clear, helpful, unbiased questions, and how to order the questions. Then the students participated in a roaming workshop. I set up four stations around the classroom. Each station had a unique questionnaire for students to assess. I divided the class into the same number of groups as stations. And then every 15 minutes the groups moved clockwise to tackle a different station.

I also used this technique in Conflict Resolution in the Workplace. I developed five scenarios of workplace conflict and posted them on flip chart paper around the room. In groups, students moved through the room and built on the previous group's response to questions about the scenario.

Role plays. Guided practice. Discussion. Case studies. What else do you use?

The 4As of a solid lesson plan: Activate, Acquire, Apply, and next week we'll look at Assess.


How do you create opportunities for students to apply what they are learning? Please sign in and leave a comment below or email us directly at or


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