Dexter Perkins
, https://engineering.und.edu/geology-and-geological-engineering/faculty/dexter-perkins/
The University of North Dakota

Course Type:
This course is taught using a studio format.

Course Size:
15-30 students

Course Summary
This class is an introduction to fundamental mineralogy and mineralogical principles. The course is taught as a studio course, and significant emphasis is placed on helping students develop holistic learning skills. For more details about class philosophy and pedagogy, scheduling and activities, follow these links:
     · What the instructor says to students on the first day of class
     · Outline of class topics
     · Complete description of class activities
     · Copies of Exercises

Course Context:

A sophomore level course that is required of all Geology and Geological Engineering majors.

Course Goals:

After completing this class, students can identify important minerals and they can explain why minerals are found where they are found. They are familiar with the fundamentals of mineral properties, optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, crystallography, and the atomic structures of minerals. They can explain mineral systematics and the physics and chemistry that relates all minerals and mineral properties. Additionally, students learn to be self-reflective about their learning and to develop better learning skills.

Course Content:

The content of this course closely follows the content of Mineralogy (Perkins, 2002, Prentice Hall). The class activities, which are of equal or greater importance than the content, are almost entirely student group projects.

Teaching Materials:

The two texts used are Mineralogy (Perkins, 2002, Prentice Hall) and Minerals in Thin Section (Perkins and Henke, 2004, Prentice Hall). In addition there are many handouts pertinent to specific class activities.


Students are assessed based on (1) group projects, (2) class portfolios, (3) a semester long "private mineral" project, and (4) several exams.