Interpret Primary Sources to Propose a Model or Argument

Thalidomide: The pros and cons

This case study, contributed by the Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence, is intended to show that two enantiomers can have different effects on the body, and how the same drug can be used to treat different diseases or symptoms.  It is also intended to help students begin to understand the process of FDA approval for drugs.  This problem could be used in an organic chemistry class or in a class for non-science majors.... Read more about Thalidomide: The pros and cons

Theme and Variations: Understanding Musical Style

This activity took place as part of an ongoing study of the various conventional forms in Classical music (sonata, concerto, etc.), and also contributed to a larger, semester-long conversation about the ways in which we deal with the nebulous concept of "style" in music. Coming into the class itself, students possessed a basic knowledge of musical rudiments such as melody and harmony. For this particular activity, students had already been introduced to the idea of a "Theme and Variations" form, and had listened to several examples.

First, students are given a simple melody,...

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Understanding Diaspora

Benjamin Weber created an activity that spans across the entire class to help students understand the concept of “diaspora” through constant reiteration of concepts from some excerpts given to the class by the instructor. Students learned how to close-read excerpts, write reflections, and create their own ideas about the theme of the class.

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Understanding the mechanisms of evolution: random genetic drift

Created by Ned Dochtermann, Erin Gillam, Timothy Greives, Kristina Holder, Steve Travers, and Jennifer Weghorst, this lesson focuses on the evolutionary mechanism of random genetic drift.  Students explore how population size affects allele frequencies by engaging in a group activity that involves generating and plotting data, interpreting graphs, and formulating hypotheses.... Read more about Understanding the mechanisms of evolution: random genetic drift

Visual Essays and Makeover Parodies

Students in Caroline Light's general education course, Sex and the Citizen, create five-minute visual essays in response to Brenda Weber's, Makeover Nation. In order to do this assignment, students must complete the assigned reading and gain familiarity with iMovie, Prezi, or PowerPoint. These visual essays or makeover parodies are meant to address issues of identity and citizenship central to the course.... Read more about Visual Essays and Makeover Parodies

Visualizing Humanitarian Crises and Interventions

Student groups are each assigned a region experiencing a humanitarian crisis for research. They produce a visual timeline representing the processes precipitating and leading up to the crisis and the relief efforts undertaken in response. As a final project, each group produces an infographic representing a theme or a typology it observes across the different crises explored throughout the timeline exercise.

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World Music YouTube Culture Show

Dr. Michael Heller created this project for a World Music Class for International Students taught at University of Massachusetts, Boston.  Students were encouraged to develop traditional academic skills and new media skills in this World Music YouTube Culture Show Project, by incorporating written word, public speaking, and storytelling tools like Zeega, Powerpoint, or Meograph in this project.

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