Week 5 – Final projects and reassessments

Music Cognition (PSYC 4541), CU–Boulder, Summer 2016


Friday, July 1 (due 7am MDT): concept map contributions due
Friday, July 1 (due 7am MDT): Week 4 video reassessments due
Friday, July 1 (due 7am MDT): final projects and reassessments due

In lieu of office hours, I will be available for individual appointments via video for any who would like assistance on the final project or reassessments.


For Friday, July 1, 7am MDT, submit three written explanations of the relationship between two different core concepts on our emerging concept map. These relationships should each involve at least one concept from Week 4. (Connections between two Week 4 concepts, or between one Week 4 concept and one concept from earlier weeks are both fair game.) See the Assignment guide for details on the expectations and collaborative opportunities for this assignment.

For Friday, July 1, 7am MDT, if you did not receive full marks on one of your week 4 videos, you may submit a reassessment of a single video.

For Friday, July 1, 7am MDT, submit either a final project or eight credits worth of reassessment videos/conceptual connections. See below for details.

Final projects

General information

All final projects and reassessments are due by 7am, Friday July 1.

From the syllabus & assessment guide:

If you wish to obtain an A in the class, you will construct a final project that applies course concepts in a domain not discussed in class, or critiques some presentation of material in class. You and I will negotiate the details of these projects one-on-one, with the goals of 1) finding a project in line with your interests, 2) adding to public human knowledge/understanding, and 3) moving beyond the memorization, understanding, and synthesis of course concepts into the realm of application and critique. Shortly after midterm, you will have an opportunity to propose project ideas, and our negotiations will be completed before the beginning of Week 5, with a clear contract of expectations laid out. You may only pursue the final project if you have met the appropriate threshold (see below).

Students must have earned 42 points by the beginning of Week 5 (Monday, June 27) in order to pursue a final project. Collaboration is permitted if approved by the instructor in the contract for the project. Since they are due on the last day of class, there is no reassessment opportunity, but the contract should make the grade clear to students when they submit.

Project possibilities

Possible project types include:

  • A term paper.
  • A series of short videos.
  • A multimedia blog.
  • A design for an experiment.

Possible topics include:

  • The evolution of music as a human trait.
  • The cognitive/neurological relationship of music to language.
  • The emotional impact of film music.
  • Tone-deafness.
  • Music and aphasia (or other music-therapy-related topics).
  • Music and learning disabilities (such as dyslexia).

For all of these topics, I can point you to specific resources to explore.

Project contracts

Contract proposals are due in draft form by Wednesday, June 22, 7am MDT. I will reply with comments and suggestions to help ensure that your proposed project meets the goals listed above, represents a manageable workload, and has clearly articulated learning objectives and grading standards. Final contracts must be submitted by Friday, June 24, 7am MDT. If any changes are still necessary at that point, I will make them unilaterally to ensure appropriate standards are met.

Here is a sample project contract on Google Drive. Please make a copy of this document by going to the File menu and clicking “Make a copy.” Then edit your new document to match your interests/goals, and share with me (File » Share » give kris.shaffer@colorado.edu permission to edit the document). Contact me early with any questions you have.

Final reassessments

Students who do not qualify for the final project may submit up to 8 credits worth of new or reattempted videos and/or concept map contributions during the final week. Each video is worth three points, each concept map connection is worth one point. Instructions are the same as for the regular Week 3 and 4 assignments. You may choose any combination of videos and/or concept map relationships, and you may choose any concepts on the core concepts list for all four weeks, and submit them in the same “Final Reassessments” dropbox on D2L.

Ther is no collaboration allowed, and no further reassessments allowed for these.

Learning objectives

This unit is directed towards the following student goals:

  • ability to articulate an accurate definition and at least one example of application about the core concepts in one’s own words (reassessments)
  • contribute to public understanding of the relationship between music and cognitive science
  • ability to construct and articulate substantive, manageable goals (final project)
  • ability to self-assess progress towards those goals (final project)
  • ability to synthesize multiple core concepts in a project of application (final project)