4.4 Discussion Activities (20 minutes each)

The following discussion activities are prepared by Open Education Instructional Designer Veronica Vold to support individual or group study with the presentation video recording. These activities are intended to encourage reflection, analysis, and application of key takeaways.

Discussion Activity 1: Student alarm systems and teaching neurophysiology

Mays argues that many students are “walking around with their alarm systems on” or managing intense trauma responses without knowing it. Mays challenges instructors to teach students to use their neurophysiology to access strategies for building resilience.

  • In your own words, define neurophysiology. What do you know now that you didn’t know before this webinar?
  • How might an instructor who is new to neurophysiology become comfortable teaching key concepts about it to students?
  • What are some ways that your department or program could apply polyvagal theory (brains as relational, neuroception from the inner and outer world, and co-regulation as a way to manage adversity) to existing teaching methods and course design? Where does this already show up?

Discussion Activity 2: Imagining Futures with “Two Kinds of Intelligence”

For colleagues and students as well as their children, Mays wants a future that is more than simply surviving or being alive. She cites Rumi’s poem “Two Kinds of Intelligence” that meditates on the difference between textbook knowledge and a second, different kind of knowing, “a freshness in the center of the chest,” or a spring overflowing. Take a few minutes to read this poem before considering the following questions:

  • How would you distinguish between the two kinds of intelligence Rumi compares?
  • Name some open education projects that draw on either or both kinds of intelligence.
  • In your experience as a student, what teachers, if any, recognized the intelligence “within you, moving out,” or the second kind of knowing Rumi describes?
  • Mays wants a future where people do more than simply survive. What kind of future is built through the first kind of intelligence? What kind of future is built through the second? How can open education help you to build the future you desire?

Licenses and Attributions

“Discussion Activity 1: Student alarm systems and teaching neurophysiology” and “Discussion Activity 2: Imagining Futures with ‘Two Kinds of Intelligence'” by Veronica Vold is adapted from “Harnessing the Resilience Within” by Mays Imad and is licensed CC BY-NC.


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Designing for Justice: An Open Education Speaker Series Copyright © by Veronica Vold is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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