Pedagogy of Real Talk

Name of Cohort:

Increasing Student Belonging with Real Talk

Presented by:

Dr. Jacob Price - Assistant Biology Professor

Online or In Person:

On campus

Meeting Dates:

See schedule below

Length of Cohort:

16 weeks


Physiological and psychological needs, such as food, shelter and good mental health, are paramount to student retention and success. These resources are typically available through an Advocacy Resource Center; however, possibly due to a low sense of student belonging, only a small number of students use these services. Having a low sense of belonging makes students less likely to talk with their instructor and seek out these resources, which decreases their ability to succeed. Building strong student/instructor relationships through the Pedagogy of Real Talk helps create a sense of belonging and increases communication with their instructor about resources early in the semester.

Participants will:

  • Learn how to incorporate powerful dialogs into their classes that build strong relationships with their students through shared experiences and emotions.
  • Learn to design Alternative lessons to increase student engagement. 
  • Discover the use of Google Docs to create active learning strategies to reinforce content and increase long-term retention.




Meeting Theme




9:00 - 10:30

Introduction to Real Talks

  • What is an at-promise student?
  • What is a Real Talk?
  • What is student belonging?
  • Notecard roadblocks
  • Real Talk Example


Create a draft for your Real Talk (Homework handout)

  • Universal theme
  • Lead-in for your Real Talk
  • Build your Real Talk



9:00 - 10:30

Real Talk Group Discussion

  • Universal Theme
  • Give your Real Talk- This draft does not have to be perfect.
  • Real Talk group discussions


Jungian/Myers-Briggs Personality Type (Homework handout)

  • Use past personality tests or complete the Jungian/Myers-Briggs Test and bring the results to the class.
    • Think of ways to present to different personality types



9:00 - 10:30

Teaching to personalities

  • Jungian/Myers-Briggs
  • Designing for personality teaching

Alternative Lesson Design

  • Defining the concept (ACGM/WECM) evaluation
  • Developing a hook
    • AL Design using videos/news/articles


Alternative Lesson Design (Homework handout)

  • Define the concept (ACGM/WECM)
  • Select a hook
    • How will you bring students into the lesson

Bring your materials for one of your lessons you would like to make into an Alternative Lesson. (PowerPoint (printed), notes, lesson plan, etc.)



9:00 - 10:30

Backward Design in Alternative Lessons

  • What is needed to understand the overall concept?

Building your presentation

  • Layering of concepts
  • Introducing repetition
  • Trimming the fat
  • Creating a concept capstone



9:00 - 10:30

Alternative Lesson- Backward design (Groupwork Day)

  • What do the students need to learn first?
  • In what order will you present these concepts?
  • How can you incorporate repetition?


10/26 /23

9:00 - 10:30

Creating teachable moments and student-driven learning

  • Active Learning in Alternative Lessons
  • Google Forms/Activities

2nd 8 weeks- Give Real Talk and Alternative Lesson to Class

Deliverables and due dates

Real Talk and Alternative Lesson Check-in (virtual)


Real Talk Instructor survey (Google Form)

After completion

Student Real-Talk survey (Google Form)

After completion

Alternative Lesson Instructor survey (Google Form)

After completion

Alternative Lesson Student Survey (Google Form)

After completion

Cohort Presentations



If you have any questions please email or call 371-5920.

Contact Us

Washington Street Campus, Ware Student Commons, Suite 205
2201 S. Washington St
Amarillo, TX 79109

Student Help/Underground Contact Information:

Phone: (806) 371-5429


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