Sample Assignments

BLOGGING

In my human trafficking classes, both on campus and abroad in India, students engage in experiential learning by partnering with various local and global NGOs, including theNET, Shakti Vahini, and Bachpan Bachao Andolan.  Student engage in various prevention activities, like through teaching anti-trafficking curriculum to vulnerable youth at an inner city school in Fort Worth; prosecution activities like observing reverse sting operations; and protection activities such as visiting the RISE Court, teaching English to child labor trafficking victims, and visiting with women in the red light district at a medical outreach clinic.  Students are required to reflect on these experiences on the class blog.  Blog posts are graded based on the quality and depth of reflection, as well as their use of media to visually represent their experiences.  The final blog post for the India students is a video.  Here are a few of the incredible videos these students produce on their learning experiences abroad.

 

DEBATES

In several classes, I require students to engage in formal debates.  Debates are an excellent pedagogical tool that require students to consider multiple angles of a single issue.  In Introduction to American Politics, students have debated about gun control, welfare, legalization of marijuana, among other policy issues.  In Human Trafficking, students have debated about whether or not pornography drives demand for prostitution, whether immigration reform will curb human trafficking in the U.S., and the extent to which human trafficking is endemic to a capitalist global economy.

IDENTITY POLITICS VIDEOS

In my American Identity Politics course, students spend the entire semester examining how American identity politics based on race, gender, religion, etc., can be analyzed in the context of various theories of identity, including identity theory, social identity theory, identity complexity theory, and optimal distinctiveness theory.  Students are required to explore and apply these ideas to their own “identity politics” by asking questions such as, “How do my salient identities impact my political attitudes, beliefs and behaviors?” and “How do my social identities cause me to derogate political outgroups and prop up my political ingroups?”  Students analyze these types of questions through mini-assignments over the course of the semester, culminating in an identity politics video.  Here is a small sampling of the excellent and thoughtful videos these students produce.