Book Study in a Box

Book Study in a Box

I am currently participating in a book study on The New Pillars of Modern Teaching by Gayle Allen facilitated by Kathryn Laster @kklaster of Region 10. The book challenges educators to provide learners with choice in the time, place, medium, and socialness of their learning. Kathryn and her team have done an outstanding job of giving book study participants like me power over their learning in each of these areas throughout the book study.

This study has definitely engaged, empowered, and inspired me! As I worked on an online book study for my campus, I found myself thinking about how I could facilitate learning that gave some choice in the areas of time, place, medium, and socialness, while still challenging participants to share and try new things. I created 5 slides templates that give participants choice in all of these areas that can easily be utilized for ANY online book study. Check them out below and see if you can utilize one or more parts as you facilitate learning with some choice in the areas of time, place, medium, and socialness.

I divided our online book study into five chunks. After reading a few chapters, participants will be asked to complete one of the following:

  • Create a GRAPHIC
  • Record a VIDEO
  • CURATE Resources
  • Create a BOOKSNAP
  • Compile a PORTFOLIO

Because the book study is all online, participants have complete choice over the time and place they complete their work. Additionally, each assignment gives them choice in the medium they use to complete the assignment.

The first 4 assignments are each completed as part of a collaborative slide deck in which each participant completes their own slide individually within one shared slide deck. This allows participants to learn from each other and gain from other participants’ reflections as they look at each others’ slides. Although participants are encouraged to provide feedback to one another using the comments feature and speaker notes as well as share learning on social media, these social aspects are not required. Participants have choice in how social they want to be with their learning.

The final assignment, Compile a PORTFOLIO, requires participants to go back to each of the previous assignments and pull all of their reflections together into one learning portfolio housed in a simple Google slide deck. This is a research-proven learning strategy that helps learners to further reflect on and retain new learning – AND as a BONUS – it is MUCH easier for the facilitator to check ONE final assignment to give credit for the course!

Each slide deck is shown below for you to preview with a link underneath for you to grab a copy if you’d like one:

Create a GRAPHIC

Grab an editable copy of the Create a GRAPHIC template here.


Record a VIDEO

Grab an editable copy of the Record a VIDEO template here.


CURATE Resources

Grab an editable copy of the CURATE Resources template here.



Grab an editable copy of the Create a BOOKSNAP template here. 



Grab an editable copy of the Compile a PORTFOLIO template here.


I hope these pieces help you as you set up your next online book study! Thank you to Gayle Allen, Kathryn Laster, and the Region 10 team for the HUGE inspiration! As always, please reach out with any questions, comments, or suggestions! We are better together!

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