This assignment could be used in an introductory undergraduate course for non-majors. This activity can be scaled for small to very large enrollment courses.
This assignment can scale up to large enrollment courses.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
I implement this activity after we have discussed minerals in lecture and lab. I typically use it as an extra credit assignment.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
For this assignment you will need to take a "selfie" with an everyday product or item that contains a mineral. In our Class Discussion Blog you will POST YOUR PICTURE and write your mineral description. Be sure to also include IDENTIFICATION INFO in your post:
1. Mineral Name and Chemical Composition
2. Physical Properties (Hardness, Luster, Cleavage, etc.)
3. Which rocks and/or type of environment might this mineral be found in?
4. How is the mineral being used in the product?
Once a mineral has been identified by a student in your lab section you can NO longer choose/identify that mineral, SO the earlier you complete this assignment the easier it will be for you. You could take a picture of a rock like granite but you will still need to identify a specific mineral in that rock.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Teaching materials and tips
- Instructors Notes:
I personally use this assignment as extra credit for an exam. I use the assignment for my 100+ student introductory course and to make posting a picture less intimidating - I create a blog for each lab group of ~20 students. I use the blog feature provided through my university's Blackboard site. Similar features are available in other course management systems, like Moodle or Canvas.