After field trips to three different museums, students create a short 90 second podcast in which they discuss one object encountered. Through this project, students engage with primary artifacts and practice their communication skills.
Students learn to construct a persuasive argument by brainstorming multiple ways to structure their final research paper using post-its, large pieces of paper, or whatever other materials students like. They organize and re-arrange primary sources in a low-pressure environment to generate multiple logical flows for their papers.
When students are in the revision stage of their paper, Jerusha Achterberg uses fruits to teach students how to structure their papers so that the organization coordinates with the thesis. The idea behind this activity is to break the 5 paragraph mold students bring from high school.
Students are asked to write down a weird or random fact about themselves on a sticky note and to pass it to the person to their left. Each student is then asked to brainstorm logically possible explanations of the fact he or she has received. Through this activity, students learn to distinguish the best or most likely explanations from all the logically possible ones.
This was a semester long project. Throughout the semester, graduate students (many of whom had little previous exposure to the course material) studied the history of Chinese music theory, the Jesuit missionaries who transmitted it back to western Europe, and the reception of Chinese culture there in the 18th century.