Teach the Earth > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Properties of Light

Properties of Light

Joseph Smyth
University of Colorado at Boulder
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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: Jul 8, 2009


This problem set tests students understanding of the properties of light, including velocity, frequency, reflection, and refraction.

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This problem set is designed for an undergraduate course in mineralogy for majors.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have a knowledge of basic mathematics and introductory physics.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise used as a homework assignment.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

This problem set assesses students' knowledge of the properties of light.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

This problem set is used as a homework assignment to assess students' understanding of the properties of light. Students are asked to calculate velocity through media with different index of refractions, wavelengths, frequencies, and reflection/refraction behaviors.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have successfully met the goals of the assignment if they answer the problem set thoroughly and accurately and show their work.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

This problem set is the 9th of 10 homework assignments used in a Mineralogy course.
You can also access the course syllabus which includes lecture Powerpoints, practice exams, and links to the other problem sets used in this course.

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