This session was highly interactive and thought provoking. Participants shared that sharing power involves:

  • Recognizing the teacher is not the expert
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Peer learning
  • Understanding that just because we taught something doesn’t mean they learned it
  • Allowing students to help set assignment expectations

I really liked the activity where we needed to work together to build a tower.

The activity

Round 1: How did it feel:

  • Fun
  • Collaboration
  • Stressful
  • Rushed
  • Competitive
  • Evolving
  • Awkward
  • Solution Focused
  • Creative
  • Innovative

When helped?

  • Constraints
  • Goal
  • Able to ask questions
  • We had assigned tasks
  • Was possible


  • Time
  • Limited communication
  • Siloed responsibilities
  • Needing to restrain oneself

Different perspectives were shared. It is interesting that what may be helpful for one person may be seen as a hindrance for the other.

Round 2: How did it feel?

  • Less fun
  • Stressful
  • Empowering
  • Productive
  • Strategic
  • Confusing
  • Comfortable
  • More investment
  • More collaboration
  • More informed
  • More control
  • Less constrained
  • Equally frustrating

Round 2: Observations

  • We all met the goal
  • The practice round helped
  • Learning from others
  • More buy-in
  • I sat back without an assigned role
  • It became more about the goal than our role

Why Share Power?

  • Learning as a ladder: Students need just as much structure as necessary. To few is unclear. Too many is too goal oriented.
  • Universal design for learning – a way to accommodate everyone
  • Allowing them to take charge promotes deeper learning.


I am going to integrate UDL into the design of my syllabus co-construction assignment for the fall. Want to comment on it? Click here to see what I am working on … it is still in progress (Syllabus page 7). I would love input.

It is all about choice and creativity.

There is a lot of anxiety when it comes to making choices for students. We need to manage that anxiety and teach them how to make choices. It is important to help them see the value in the activity.

How do you get buy-in? In some cases it is important to introduce it in small ways and scaffold it up in a program. Students are getting more and more comfortable with experiential learning in grade school and high school.

Communicate why you are doing what you do. As a group do not assume the cognitive ability of the group of learners.

Constraints are not necessarily a bad thing. The question is how do we build those up.

Jennifer Kopczinski

Categories: Reflections


Laura Killam is an experienced nursing educator from Northern Ontario with a keen interest in improving student learning through innovation. For more information please visit


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