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Talk Tiles

Play with them. Learn with them.

Want some tiles?

Support our efforts?

Talk Tiles help people plan, notice, articulate, reflect upon, and assess learning in an easy, generative, social, creative way. See examples below.


They can help enrich communities of practice, classes, professional teams, community groups, family gatherings, etc.

We would be happy to give you a set of tiles. Our goal is to get these into the hands of people who can use them to make a positive difference in their work and communities. You can get one (or more) sets from us or we can teach you how to make your own.

If you'd like to support this effort, please consider donating to the WWU Center for Community Learning. Funds will help us buy supplies, dedicate time to making the tiles and teaching about them, and cover mailing costs.

Each of the 8 colored tiles with everyday words corresponds with one dimension of the Wenger-Trayner value-creation framework.

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Importance (Strategic Value)

Changes (Realized Value)

Support (Enabling Value)

Actions (Applied Value)

Identity (Transformative Value)

Feelings (Immediate Value)

Possibilities (Potential Value)

Place (Orienting Value)

Play with them.


Learn with them.


We don't want to stifle your creativity...

...but here are a few ideas to get you started.

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Plan for an upcoming learning event by having team members pair up and take turns drawing tiles and responding to related prompts.

"A change I hope to see is..."
"I hope this opens the possibility for..."
"One dimension of participants' identities I hope we especially consider/challenge is..."
"To succeed we'll need support from..."
"I hope participants feel a sense of..."
"I hope participants' sense of place is expanded by..."
"I hope our activities include.."
"Putting on this event is important because..."


Help a member notice and articulate the "value story" of their experiences by building a train or stack of tiles.

"Because of the grant's support and the staff effort..."
"We were able to put the students into action..."
"We cleaned up the river, and noticed the students' attitude changed..."
"This work is important because community residents see that we care and are invested in everyone's well being..."
"It felt exhilarating...
"Our school's sense of identity has morphed to include..."
"We now see our connections with the efforts in other places in the bioregion..."
"Our teachers see many possibilities, including integrating research on the watershed."

Reflect on a specific learning experience by taking turns drawing tiles out of the bag and sharing something related to that word.

"At the end I felt..."
"A change I noticed was..."
"She supported me by..."
"What we did today was important because..."
"This aspect of my identity was challenged when..."
"An action I'd never taken before was..."
"One thing that I learned about this place is..."
"I'm surprised that it now seems possible to..."


Assess the impact of your learning community by having members take turns drawing tiles out of the bag and sharing on one dimension of value.

"Our most vital action has been.."
"The funders can best understand the importance of this work if we... "
"When I come to our gatherings, I feel..."
"Because of this group, my sense of identity has evolved..."
"We never would have stayed with it if not for the support of..."
"Because of this group, one change I've noticed in my day-to-day work.."
"Possibilities that this group opened up for me included..."

Travis making tile

Developing and refining these tiles has been a community effort!
Their story began when Oliver Tennessen's dad "borrowed" some of his dominoes to use for a reflection game in Community Engagement Fellows. Special thanks to the Tennessen Family, CCL Team, Heidi Madsen, Milton Cox, Beverly and Etienne Wenger-Trayner, Sophia Jackson, Sadie Olsen, Jessie Bloss, and

Lúcás Ó'Ceallacháin for contributing to their evolution!

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