Icebreaker time

Ice cube trays

By Gmhofmann (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Soon we’ll be welcoming students, and students will be welcoming each other.  Many schools have posted lists of icebreaker activities.  Lansing Community College (2015) has an especially well-referenced list .  Such lists favor face-to-face activities.  For online icebreakers I recommend–ironically–a book, Engaging the Online Learner (Conrad & Donaldson, 2004).

Conrad and Donaldson (2004) devote a whole chapter to icebreakers (pp. 46-59).  They include both synchronous and asynchronous options.   Each idea comes with the objectives and with a credit to the contributor.

Given the social nature of information, we who care about information literacy should think about icebreakers.  What icebreakers do you like to use?


Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. A. (2004). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Lansing Community College, Center for Teaching Excellence. (2015). Icebreaker activities.  Retrieved from