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I had an interesting meeting last week about using online resources and tools for student engagement, and to what extent any classroom activity could be done virtually. Another discussion point was to what extent MOOCs can provide meaningful learning experiences.
This nice video about the JGI's 1000 fungal genome project suggests a good non-traditional lesson plan. In the four minute video, scientists introduce fungal diversity and what can be learned from fungal genomes. I'd use this as a launching-off point to have the class investigate fungal diversity through individual and group projects, with the "goal" being to select a species as a class mascot. (The goal is also to set up a need-to-know environment so students are motivated to read and learn).
Outside of class time, have students individually 1) watch the video, 2) read through the information on the 1000 Fungal genomes project (http://genome.jgi.doe.gov/programs/fungi/1000fungalgenomes.jsf), select a fungal species of interest, and prepare a 3-slide overview about it. (If you like, you can tell them what kinds of information must be included, such where it fits on the fungal tree of life, what kind of interactions it has with plants, and what might be learned from its genome).
Then, in class (or online) groups of students would review the 3-slide summaries of the members, and choose the best-of-group. The group then builds on the summary to produce a 3-minute YouTube video that makes the case for why their species is the most interesting and deserving of recognition. If your class meets physically, you can show the videos during class time, If not, the video viewing and voting can take place online. Finally, the class votes to select the species to adopt, with a small prize going to the winning group.
Posting the videos publically motivates the students to make the content broadly accessible and the overall quality high. Google documents and Dropboxes provide the students with shared workspaces, and by having the groups make these working materials accessible to you, you can assess the contributions of the group members.
If you haven't yet explored the learning opportunities available to students through online resources, I'd encourage you to give it a try.
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