Active Teaching Exchange Recap: Famous Figures on Facebook

Thu March 8, 2018

At the March 8, 2018 Active Teaching Exchange, Jamie Henke shared how her students bring famous composers to life in her music theory course. Using a private course webpage platform and role-playing, students interact with one another as famous composers would interact with one another on modern social networking sites.


  • Discussion posts were boring — students would post basic facts that no one cared about. Based on seeing her daughter on Facebook, she devised the assignment to impersonate dead composers interacting with each other as if they were Facebook friends (“Social Tactus” as a 5-week project)
  • Students need to research the composers in order to simulate their style and be factually believable. Also need to be aware of each others’ work. (10-15 composers depending on the size of the class)
  • Group project: group takes on the composer. Graded half as group and half as individual.
  • Students love the assignment, feel it fits their world.


Active Teaching Exchanges are held Thursdays from 1-2pm in room 120, Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.). Check out the upcoming Exchanges or read the recaps from past Exchanges.

Like the Active Teaching Exchanges, Active Teaching Labs feature instructors sharing their teaching experiences with tools and techniques, but also provide time for hands-on exploration of tools. Labs are are held Fridays from 8:30-9:45am in room 120, Middleton Building as well as some Wednesdays from 12:30-1:30pm in room 302 Middleton Building. See the full calendar of both events. Stay informed about upcoming Labs and Exchanges by signing up for regular announcements by sending an email to