Cultural-based approach: Our World, Our Music is a cultural-based approach to delivery and content of the general education music appreciation course. This approach also lends itself to multi-discipline humanities courses, through the inclusion of study of several historical, non-Western, and modern societies and cultures. Examination of music in particular, the arts in general, and the societies that support them within a given culture aids students in developing global approaches to our world and its people. Structured listening and comparative analysis support the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.
Listening: Unlike most textbooks developed for the music appreciation course, Our World, Our Music does not ship with a collection of media containing recorded music. Instead, the purchase price of the book includes a one-time use access code that provides students with four-month subscriptions to textbook's companion website. Playlists associated with each chapter are accessible through the Student area of OurWorldOurMusic.com. Course instructors have the opportunity to expand the selection of recorded music that they use in class and assign for listening, drawing upon the millions of recordings available on the internet.
Ancillaries: Schools adopting Our World, Our Music receive a continually growing collection of ancillary materials that support course delivery. Among these are:
· Classroom presentation materials that aid in daily delivery of the music appreciation class. These internet-based materials provide an organizational framework, aligned with the students' textbooks, that supports learning styles of visual learners. Additionally, the presentations provide a common core content, helping to assure that multiple sections of a single course are delivered, instead of multiple courses with a single title. Instructors may use the classroom presentations as a common foundation upon which to build their class plans and content.
· A turn-key online music appreciation course that is ready for upload and use in most course management backbone systems, such as Blackboard, WebCT, Desire2Learn, and many others. This ready-to-use course allows colleges and universities to quickly, easily, and immediately update their existing music appreciation course or to more fully enter the digital age with a distance education, online course offering that is branded for the host institution.
· A course content delivery calendar that suggests a weekly plan to aid instructors in mapping out a schedule for content delivery.
· A list of objectives, by chapter, to aid the instructor in preparing to teach the course, or to serve as a resource in the preparation of documents that may be required for a variety of reporting purposes. Adopters may freely use these objectives as needed.
· Prepared playlists and test documents for use in Listening Tests. These playlists and downloadable test documents allow instructors to easily add listening components to chapter tests.
· An instructors' test bank for use in constructing written tests. This test bank is compatible with Respondus© testing software. A free version of this software is available through the Instructors Resource pages of the Our World, Our Music website. The combined test bank and test-making program allows instructors to select test questions by simply clicking on them; the program then asks a few questions before providing a print-ready, copy-ready chapter test and answer key. Automated grading and scoring may then be done with any regular scanning hardware/software that has been configured and programmed for this purpose (e.g., Scantron or other similar devices).
· An electronic grade book offering a record keeping tool that is both preconfigured for the resources that accompany Our World, Our Music, and customizable to meet each instructor's needs. This grade book is designed to be securely housed on an instructor’s computer and it requires no network connection while in use. This stand-alone approach allows instructors to open their laptops and do course records maintenance almost anywhere.
· The Pronunciation Assistant supports both students and instructors. Since Our World, Our Music presents music from many of our world's cultures, pronunciation of some of the music's titles or of composers' or performers' names may be unfamiliar. The Pronunciation Assistant offers web pages that provide opportunities to hear some of these terms and names spoken aloud by simply pointing and clicking .
· Opportunity to have additional material posted to the Student area of the textbook's website. Institutions may expand upon or add to any and all content contained in Our World, Our Music, or even have new, unaddressed material and content made available to students through the website, with no additional copying or printing expense to the institution or students.
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