Table of Contents


Information for specific audiences:

In-class Activities

Integrative Learning Faculty Resources

Suggestions on the USC Connect website are provided as examples of strategies that may be used to move toward achieving integrative learning. These and other techniques used in comprehensive ways and over time can result in a truly integrative experience for students. While such in-depth learning cannot be magically achieved through a pre-packaged program or list of activities, taking even small steps toward supporting integrative learning can help instructors experience greater satisfaction in teaching and more success in connecting students with their disciplines!

In 10 minutes or less…

Think, Pair, Share
When students talk, share, and listen to ideas — they are engaging with the content.

Think, Pair, Share can be used across disciplines to get students talking about material that is being covered. The instructor poses a question, allows students a few moments to consider the question individually, and then directs students to partner into small groups to share their answers. After a few moments of discussion, the instructor then has selects students to share responses: individual and/or group responses. The value of Think, Pair, Share is in the small group interaction; students are motivated to think through the posed questions due to the expectation of sharing their responses with peers.

The One-Minute Paper
A quick reflection activity that can be used at any time to engage students and gain insight into student learning.

The one minute paper is a free writing response to a question posed by the instructor. The one minute paper can be used at the beginning of class to start a discussion. It can be used in the middle of class to check understanding or get student feedback on key ideas presented in the class. It can be used at the end of the class as a summary activity. You may have volunteers read their one minute paper or call on students to read their papers. Or, the activity can just be for personal reflection. Instructors can occasionally collect the papers for participation credit or use them for discussion. Add another dimension to the one-minute paper by challenging students to write without stopping for the full minute — even if your thought is not totally clear, keep the pen moving.

Exit Slips
A variation of the one-minute paper for the end of class.

60 Second Share
Students listen and share something they learned.

Students find a partner. They decide who is number one and who is number two. The instructor gives the groups a topic to discuss and notes that at the end of the “discussions” students will be asked to share something they learned from their partners. Number one must talk about the topic for 60 seconds without stopping. No questions can be asked during this time.Then student number two must talk about the topic for 60 seconds without repeating the ideas discussed by number one. Again, no questions are asked.

The instructor asks for volunteers to share something they learned from their partner.

This technique works well for reviewing a topic, getting students focused on a new topic, and sharing differing viewpoints.

Finding Illustrative Quotes
Engaging students with their reading.

Bring in copies of an article (or any text) you would like your students to discuss. Students spend the first 10 minutes or so reading through the article or portion of a chapter assigned as pre-reading. Have them highlight/underline quotes that they especially agree with, disagree with, find interesting, or find particularly difficult to understand. Whether you discuss in groups or the whole class, students now have something to contribute. They can discuss/question/affirm the points they’ve underlined.


  • Generate interest and spark discussion by showing a brief video clip. Visit and type in a topic (e.g., immigration debate) and find numerous short clips depicting a variety of perspectives. Clips can be also be found on major news websites.1
  • Pose a problem to get students thinking…then demonstrate the solution with a video and ask students to explain the resuls.
    Example video: How many drops of water fit on a penny?

In 30-60 minutes…

Small Group Learning
A quick read on the benefits and principles of small group learning with concrete suggestions. See section 5 for how to organize groups in different ways.


Constructively facilitate student learning through peer guided discussion and debate.

Concept maps to think through connections

Concept maps are graphic representations of relationships between a set of concepts and ideas. They can be created in any discipline and either hand drawn or created using computer programs. See examples.

Students can be asked to create a concept map at the beginning of the semester to organize their initial thoughts on course content and again at the end of the semester to see how their ideas have changed or expanded. Students need an introduction of about 15-20 minutes.

Case studies

Case studies are stories or selected data samplings that present unresolved issues, situations or questions. Students are challenged to analyze the situations, make judgments, and articulate reasoned positions. Case studies ensure active participation and encourage exploration of different perspectives and possibilities.

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