University of Minnesota

A workspace for University of Minnesota faculty and staff to review, research, curate, and create open educational resources and open textbooks. Resources in this group were initially added from the OER Commons collection, and they have not yet been vetted by University of Minnesota faculty.
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Water on the Web Basic Science

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WOW lessons are designed for infusion into the existing science curriculums for college freshmen and advanced high school students. The lessons use the aquatic environment and real lake data to explore basic science concepts through two different approaches: a directed study “Studying” and an inquiry “Investigating” approach. The directed studies allow students to apply and learn concepts through direct, guided experience. The inquiry lessons provide a more open-ended opportunity for students to discover the same concepts. Each teacher's lesson plan provides general direction for guiding students to understand the topic through the directed study and the inquiry approach. Student lessons are organized into a thinking framework of six sequential components that are critical for improving scientific and technological literacy: knowledge base, experimental design, data collection, data management and analysis, interpretation of results, and reporting results. The teacher lesson plans follow the same format. Lesson titles are simple and descriptive so that you may easily find useful materials. We recommend you begin by reviewing the student lessons that may be appropriate for your class. When you've found a student lesson to use, return to the menu below to review the associated teacher's lesson plan. There are tutorials to help you and your students get familiar with the site, they may be accessed from the menu below, or at the top of any 'teacher' page.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Water Science Curriculum

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Water Science offers a two-semester water resource management curriculum for second year technical students or undergraduates in water resource management, water science, or environmental resource management programs. Water Science is divided into 6 major units. Each unit is divided into modules encompassing approximately a week's worth of lectures and labs.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Full Course, Lecture Notes

Virtual Audio-Video Archive

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The VAVA is a collecion of royalty-free audio and video files for teachers to use in their own creative exercises. We have also developed a small number of sample exercises that utilize material from the VAVA. The LCTL Project encourages teachers of all LCTLs to cooperate in developing new VAVA exercises using audio or video materials. Individual exercises might be very simple listening practice, or they might be more complex, integrating sounds, video clips into reading, writing, speaking and listening activities for students.The VAVA currently contains audio for the following languages: Arabic (Tunisa), Chinese (Mainland and Taiwan), Hebrew, Norwegian, Polish.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Rational Number Project: Initial Fraction Ideas

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The Rational Number Project (RNP) advocates teaching fractions using a model that emphasizes multiple representations and connections among different representations. Initial Fraction Ideas include developing meaning for fractions using a part-whole model, constructing informal ordering strategies based on mental representations for fractions, creating meaning for equivalence concretely, and adding and subtracting fractions using concrete models. Initial Fraction Ideas do not include formal algorithms, and instruction with formal algorithms was not part of this original RNP curriculum module.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Kathleen Cramer, Merlyn Behr, Richard Lesh, Thomas Post

Rational Number Project: Fraction Operations and Initial Decimal Ideas

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The Rational Number Project (RNP) advocates teaching fractions using a model that emphasizes multiple representations and connections among different representations. Fraction Operations and Initial Decimal Ideas includesincludes: (a) a module of 28 lessons related to fraction operations, decimal concepts, order, equivalence and operations with decimals (addition/subtraction); (b) strategies to deepen student understanding as they develop meaning and procedural skill with fraction operations and initial decimal ideas; (c) understanding of the support teachers in urban settings need to teach RNP curricula effectively; (d) an online professional workshop to prepare teachers to use this new module.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Kathleen Cramer, Seth Leavitt, Terry Wyberg

Raising Children with Roots, Rights, & Responsibilities: Celebrating the Convention on the Rights of the Child

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This curriculum grew out of the Circle For The Child Project which was started by the authors in 1995 as a grass roots effort to promote the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child through education and political action. This Minnesota-based project joins a worldwide effort seeking to ensure human rights for all. Raising Children With Roots, Rights & Responsibilities is designed for two-hour sessions. The curriculum can be adapted to any setting where families gather to learn. Such groups as Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), parenting classes, child care centers, family child care homes, faith communities, YMCA/YWCA programs, Scouts/campfire groups, neighborhood and play groups, community schools, after school programs, and home schoolers can use this curriculum. This curriculum is best suited for children ages three to six, their parents and educators.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Lori DuPontJoanne Foley and Annette Gagliardi

Lifting the Spirit

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Freedom of religion or belief is an increasingly relevant topic in human society. Lifting the Spirit: Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief provides comprehensive and thought-provoking lessons about the human right to freedom of religion or belief without surveying world religions or endorsing any particular belief. Lifting the Spirit relates the worship, observances, practices, and teachings of all religions and beliefs to fundamental human rights principles. It provides background information, ideas for taking action, and interactive exercises to help people learn about the freedom of religion or belief: a right that is guaranteed in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Designed for use in secondary classrooms, religious institutions, and youth advocacy organizations around the world, both the content and organization of Lifting the Spirit aim to be adaptable to many different national and cultural settings.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Reading

Human Rights. YES! Action and Advocacy on theRights of Persons with Disabilities

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This manual is intended to help all those who care about the human rights of persons with disabilities to become effective educators and advocates on human rights and disability, able to share both their passion and their knowledge. Human Rights. YES! draws on the experience of many educators and organizations, illustrating effective advocacy practices and distilling their accumulated insights in the development of participatory exercises. Human Rights. YES! is unique in that it is written and designed for use by people with disabilities.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Reading

Authors: Janet Lord, Joelle Balfe, Katherine Guernsey, Nancy Flowers, Valerie Karr

Human Rights Here and Now: Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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This book is a tool for bringing the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the lives of people in the United States: kindergartens and unions, Scout troops and senior citizens centers, religious organizations and prison programs. Although obviously useful for educators in schools and colleges, Human Rights Here and Now was also written to serve the needs of community organizers and activists.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Textbook

Author: Nancy Flowers

The Human Rights Education Handbook: Effective Practices for Learning, Action, and Change

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This manual is intended to help people who care about human rights to become effective educators, able to share both their passion and their knowledge. To further human rights education in all its many forms, The Human Rights Education Handbook lays out the basics: why, for whom, what, where, who, and how. It draws on the experience of many educators and organizations, illustrating their effective practices and distilling their accumulated insights.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Marcia BernbaumNancy FlowersKristi Rudelius-Palmer and Joel Tolman

Economic and Social Justice: A Human Rights Perspective

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Social and Economic Justice: A Human Rights Perspective is intended to expand the conversation about human rights. It provides background information, ideas for taking action, and interactive activities to help people think about human rights in a broader, more inclusive manner. It strives to help us define issues like homelessness, poverty, hunger, and inadequate health care, not only as “social or economic problems,” but also as human rights challenges

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: David Shiman

American Government and Politics in the Information Age

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This text is a comprehensive introduction to the vital subject of American government and politics. Governments decide who gets what, when, how (See Harold D. Lasswell, Politics: Who Gets What, When, How, [New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936]); they make policies and pass laws that are binding on all a society’s members; they decide about taxation and spending, benefits and costs, even life and death.Governments possess power—the ability to gain compliance and to get people under their jurisdiction to obey them—and they may exercise their power by using the police and military to enforce their decisions. However, power need not involve the exercise of force or compulsion; people often obey because they think it is in their interest to do so, they have no reason to disobey, or they fear punishment. Above all, people obey their government because it has authority; its power is seen by people as rightfully held, as legitimate. People can grant their government legitimacy because they have been socialized to do so; because there are processes, such as elections, that enable them to choose and change their rulers; and because they believe that their governing institutions operate justly.Politics is the process by which leaders are selected and policy decisions are made and executed. It involves people and groups, both inside and outside of government, engaged in deliberation and debate, disagreement and conflict, cooperation and consensus, and power struggles.In covering American government and politics, this text introduces the intricacies of the Constitution, the complexities of federalism, the meanings of civil liberties, and the conflicts over civil rights;explains how people are socialized to politics, acquire and express opinions, and participate in political life; describes interest groups, political parties, and elections—the intermediaries that link people to government and politics; details the branches of government and how they operate; and shows how policies are made and affect people’s lives.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: David L. Paletz, Diana Owen, Timothy E. Cook

Basics of Fluid Mechanics

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Fluid mechanics deals with the study of all fluids under static and dynamic situations. Fluid mechanics is a branch of continuous mechanics which deals with a relationship between forces, motions, and statical conditions in a continuous material. This study area deals with many and diversified problems such as surface tension, fluid statics, flow in enclose bodies, or flow round bodies (solid or otherwise), flow stability, etc. In fact, almost any action a person is doing involves some kind of a fluid mechanics problem. Furthermore, the boundary between the solid mechanics and fluid mechanics is some kind of gray shed and not a sharp distinction (see Figure 1.1 for the complex relationships between the different branches which only part of it should be drawn in the same time.). For example, glass appears as a solid material, but a closer look reveals that the glass is a liquid with a large viscosity. A proof of the glass ``liquidity'' is the change of the glass thickness in high windows in European Churches after hundred years. The bottom part of the glass is thicker than the top part. Materials like sand (some call it quick sand) and grains should be treated as liquids. It is known that these materials have the ability to drown people. Even material such as aluminum just below the mushy zone also behaves as a liquid similarly to butter. Furthermore, material particles that "behaves'' as solid mixed with liquid creates a mixture After it was established that the boundaries of fluid mechanics aren't sharp, most of the discussion in this book is limited to simple and (mostly) Newtonian (sometimes power fluids) fluids which will be defined later. This book describes the fundamentals fluid mechanics phenomena for engineers and others. It is designed to replace all introductory textbook(s) or instructor's notes for the fluid mechanics in undergraduate classes for engineering/science students but also for technical peoples. It is hoped that the book could be used as a reference book for people who have at least some basics knowledge of science areas such as calculus, physics, etc.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Genick Bar–MeirPh. D.

The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry

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This is a free textbook offered by Saylor Foundation. The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry by David W. Ball, John W. Hill, and Rhonda J. Scott is a new textbook offering for the one-semester GOB Chemistry course. The authors designed this book from the ground up to meet the needs of a one-semester course. It is 20 chapters in length and approximately 350-400 pages; just the right breadth and depth for instructors to teach and students to grasp. In addition, The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry is written not by one chemist, but THREE chemistry professors with specific, complimentary research and teaching areas. David W. Ball’s specialty is physical chemistry, John W. Hill’s is organic chemistry, and finally, Rhonda J. Scott’s background is in enzyme and peptide chemistry. These three authors have the expertise to identify and present only the most important material for students to learn in the GOB Chemistry course.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: David W. Ball, John W. Hill and Rhonda J. Scott

Book of Proof

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This book will initiate you into an esoteric world. You will learn and apply the methods of thought that mathematicians use to verify theorems, explore mathematical truth and create new mathematical theories. This will prepare you for advanced mathematics courses, for you will be better able to understand proofs, write your own proofs and think critically and inquisitively about mathematics.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Richard Hammack

Business Communication for Success

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This book is suited for Business Writing, Business English or Business Research/Report Writing courses.Basics of Written Business Communication presents basic business communication concepts, vocabulary, models, and exercises in a clear, practical, and engaging way. The author provides a set of core chapters intended to provide a highly focused introduction to the field. Then, he provides an optional series of modules that provide instructors with complete flexibility to emphasize additional topics of their choice.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Scott McLean

Business English for Success

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Business English for Success provides instruction in steps, builds writing, reading, and critical thinking, and combines comprehensive grammar review with an introduction to paragraph writing and composition. Beginning with the sentence and its essential elements, this book addresses each concept with clear, concise, and effective examples that are immediately reinforced with exercises and opportunities to demonstrate learning.

Material Type: Textbook

Author: Scott McLean

Business Information Systems: Design an App for That

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Students in introductory Management Information Systems (MIS) courses often ask what a career in MIS looks like. Lacking a clear vision, they make their own assumptions. Often they assume the career involves programming with little human interaction. That MIS is a technical field could not be further from the truth. MIS job descriptions typically require candidates to be able to collaborate, communicate, analyze needs and gather requirements. They also list the need for excellent written and communication skills. In other words, MIS workers are constantly interacting with other people both inside and outside the organization. They are coming up with creative solutions to business problems. Business Information Systems by Frost, Pike, Kenyo and Pels is designed to help students get a feel for what a career in MIS would be like. The authors' students report that they learn more about information systems from their internships than from their IS courses. Consequently, they designed a book that looks very much like an internship--an introduction to the field followed by a substantial project. The authors begin Unit 1 by introducing the information systems landscape. The unit kicks off with a discussion of all the usual suspects: the information systems triangle, the systems development life cycle, transaction systems (ERP, SCM, CRM), collaboration systems, and business intelligence systems. Other aspects of the landscape such as usability, outsourcing, database concepts and so forth are introduced throughout a chapter in unit 2 where they fit in naturally with the flow of the project. Unit 2 is the substantial project which runs over a number of chapters. Students will plan, build, and develop a proposal for an iPhone application. They will develop a very realistic mockup. They also build a website to help market and support the app. Students are engaged because the project is fun and feels real. However, they are simultaneously learning business concepts and MIS skills. With Designing Information Systems, even as freshmen, you can give your students an experience that emulates MIS in operation. Business Information Systems: Design an App for That by Frost, Pike, Kenyo and Pels is a text that will help students learn Information Systems by doing Management Information Systems. Request a desk copy or examine the book online now to see how this text might work in your course or department.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: Jacqueline Pike, Lauren Kenyo, Raymond Frost, Sarah Pels

Calculus for the Life Sciences: A Modeling Approach Volume 1

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Our writing is based on three premises. First, life sciences students are motivated by and respond well to actual data related to real life sciences problems. Second, the ultimate goal of calculus in the life sciences primarily involves modeling living systems with difference and differential equations. Understanding the concepts of derivative and integral are crucial, but the ability to compute a large array of derivatives and integrals is of secondary importance. Third, the depth of calculus for life sciences students should be comparable to that of the traditional physics and engineering calculus course; else life sciences students will be short changed and their faculty will advise them to take the 'best' (engineering) course.

Material Type: Textbook

Authors: James L. Cornette, Ralph A. Ackerman

Civil Procedure: Pleading

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This chapter covers the Civil Procedure topic of Pleading: The Plaintiff's Complaint. The chapter takes approximately four class periods to cover in detail. The student is exposed to cases, presented with questions that are designed to both guide class discussion and to help the student focus his reading of the materials, pleadings from cases, and the applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Hillel Y. Levin