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student learning objectives, Renaissance classroom, Reformation classroom, kinetic learners


Like other higher education institutions, Colorado Mesa University has fully embraced modern assessment goals and strategies, especially SLOs (Student Learning Objectives). In HIST 350, Renaissance and Reformation, I focus on two: use of primary sources and historical context. Meeting these objectives with aural and visual learners is met using traditional PowerPoint, laden with images of art and architecture. What about kinetic learners? How does one comprise their learning strengths? When analyzing documents, discerning tone is especially challenging, given our social media age. One strategy is to have students work in groups of two, taking turns reading each other’s emotions. Through this kinetic exercise, millennials begin to link tone in documents, with both raw and hidden human emotions. To explore historical context, students work in small groups to create a project based on one of fifteen historical characters from Theodore Rabb’s seminal Renaissance Lives: Portraits of an Age, which they in turn present to the entire class. Their goal is to connect these individuals to a wider, and more complex, historical context. Additionally, kinetic learners are encouraged to consider creating a skit to discern the ways, which individuals both reflected and initiated aspects of European society during the Renaissance and Reformation.