On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Petrology in the 21st Century
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Cutting Edge > Petrology > Teaching Activities > Homework on Volcanic Rock Chemistry and Binary Phase Diagrams

Homework on Volcanic Rock Chemistry and Binary Phase Diagrams

Jane Selverstone
,
University of New Mexico
Author Profile

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Jun 6, 2008

Summary

This homework has 2 main parts: In the first part, students are given bulk compositions for 6 volcanic rocks and asked to classify them, think about their normative compositions, and given likely tectonic settings for three of them. In the second part, they work with a complex binary phase diagram. In this part, they must think about components vs. phases, the lever rule, behavior at a peritectic point, and fractional removal of a phase.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Context

Audience

This activity would be used in an undergraduate (sophomore or junior level) required course in petrology.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have an understanding of general igneous petrology and binary phase diagrams.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This activity is used to make students comfortable with binary diagrams.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This activity involves data analysis.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

This homework has 2 main parts: In the first part, students are given bulk compositions for 6 volcanic rocks and asked to classify them, think about their normative compositions, and given likely tectonic settings for three of them. In the second part, they work with a complex binary phase diagram. In this part, they must think about components vs. phases, the lever rule, behavior at a peritectic point, and fractional removal of a phase. After completing this homework, I find that students are comfortable working with any binary diagram I give them.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals of this activity if they successfully complete the assignment.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Download teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

See more Teaching Activities »