James Rigney
Educator, Instrucitonal Designer, Writer

Instructional Tools

Please find below various examples of learning tools and scaffolds created for student learning. For instructors, feel free to use and adapt as needed for your teaching context.

Online Module Assignments

School Funding Data Collection and Analysis Activity

This activity asks Introduction to Education students to compare and contrast funding and demographics in two different school districts, providing analysis of how funding inequities impact school practices.

Undergraduate Reading and Discussion Scaffolds

Reading Response Directions

College students often need explicit tools to guide their deep reading about important topics. This format, inspired by work at Harvard Project Zero, provides students systematic and explicit instruction in writing concise yet deep analysis of their reading. It can be used in-class and asynchronously. I have found this scaffold produces student thinking that is more robust - and honestly just more interesting for faculty to read than generic online discussion posts.

Reading Response Model

With many of my instructional scaffolds, I create models for student use. This model matches the goals of the reading response instructions above.

Graphic Organizers and Handouts

Essay Planning Organizer for Middle School English

Many students in middle school need explicit help in annotating texts, drafting their ideas, and organizing their revised essays. This packet provides scaffolds and models of all three important skills.

Simple take-home essay revision handout

Students used this form to demonstrate they proofread and revised with an adult or peer. I printed multiple copies per page to save paper resources and shared it across the middle school team.